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Syndication Ratings: Syndies Slow at Summer's End

Most syndicated shows were flat to down in the week ending August 18, in which shows were in repeats, viewers were off on vacation -- dropping levels of people using television by 1.7 million viewers -- and Time Warner Cable continued to black out CBS stations for a second full week.

Only three talkers climbed from the prior week: NBCUniversal's Steve Wilkos, which grew 8% for the week and year to a 1.3 live plus same day household average rating, according to Nielsen Media Research; CBS Television Distribution's The Doctors, which gained 10% to a 1.1; and Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, which rebounded 11% from its season low set in the prior session to a 1.0, up 25% from the same week last year.

Disney-ABC's Live with Kelly and Michael, the only top-tier talker to be in originals for the week, was number one for the second straight week at a 2.5, down 4% from the prior week but up 19% from last year at this time, just weeks before former New York Giant Michael Strahan had officially been named Kelly Ripa's co-host.

CTD's usual leader, Dr. Phil, was right behind Live, steady at a 2.4 with a full week of reruns.

Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz, the star of which made news when he saved a woman who was hit by a cab near his studio in Rockefeller Center, came in third with a week of repeats, dipping 5% to a 1.9, and tying NBCUniversal's Maury, which also eased 5%.

Warner Bros.' Ellen was off 6% to a 1.7, but still up 6% from last year. Disney-ABC's newcomer Katie, which had talk's largest increase in the previous session, gave back 6% to a 1.5. NBCU's fellow freshman, Steve Harvey, held steady at a 1.2, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which yielded 8% and CTD's Rachael Ray, which remained at a 1.2.

NBCU's Trisha was flat at a 0.4, while Meredith's The Better Show came in last with a 0.2 for the fifth week in a row.

At the top of the syndie chart, CTD's Judge Judy in repeats held steady at a 6.2, and was first-run's top show for the 16th consecutive week. Warner Bros.' People's Court came in a distant second with an unchanged 1.5. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis recovered 8% to a 1.3, finishing third among the court shows. Twentieth's Judge Alex added 20% to a 1.2, while its Divorce Court climbed 10% to a 1.1. Entertainment Studios' America's Court tumbled 14% to a 0.6. ES' freshman, Justice for All, increased 25% from a 0.4 to a 0.5, while its We the People decreased 33% from a 0.3 to a 0.2.

In access, magazine strips were mostly stable. CTD's leader, Entertainment Tonight, gave back 3% from the prior week to a 3.3. CTD's Inside Edition inched up 4% to a 2.8. Warner Bros.' TMZ, NBCU's Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.' Extra and CTD's omg! Insider all held steady at a 1.8, 1.6, 1.3 and 1.3, respectively. Twentieth's rookie, Dish Nation, dropped 10% to a 0.9.

Game shows were mostly steady, or down a bit. CTD's leader, Wheel of Fortune, slowed 3% from the prior week to a 5.8. CTD's Jeopardy! dropped to a new season low for the second straight week, fading 2% to a 5.0. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was flat at a 4.5. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire was unchanged at a 2.3. NBCU's rookie Baggage bucked the trend, landing at its season-high 1.2 for a second straight week.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory was flat for the week at a 6.0. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men weakened 2% to a 4.1. Twentieth's Family Guy grew 6% to a 3.4. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother moved 8% higher to a 2.6. Twentieth's King of the Hill was flat at a 2.3. Warner Bros.' Friends finished 5% higher at a 2.2. SPT's Seinfeld stayed at a 2.1 for the third week in a row, while CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond remained at a 1.8 for the fifth consecutive week.