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Syndication Ratings: Syndies Steady Heading Into April

Most syndies were stable in the week after Easter, which ended April 7, but many of the top-tier talkers bettered or matched their prior-year performances.

CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil, which held steady for the week at a 2.8, according to Nielsen Media Research, improved 4% from last year at this time. Phil also advanced 6% for the week among daytime's key demographic of women 25-54 to lead the talkers at a 1.7.

In second place, Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael climbed 4% for the week and 8% for the year to a 2.6.

Warner Bros.' Ellen gained 10% for the week and the year to a 2.3 as the show returned to mostly originals. Ellen boasted talk's biggest weekly gain, tying SPT's Dr. Oz, which was flat for the week, for third place overall. Dr. Oz, meanwhile, dipped 4% from last year.

NBCUniversal's Maury was steady both for the week and year at a 2.1, but led among women 18-34 and women 18-49 at a 1.2 and a 1.3, respectively.

NBCU's Steve Wilkos added 8% for the week to a 1.4, and boasted the largest year-to-year increase of any talk show, climbing 27%.

CTD's Rachael Ray and The Doctors and NBCU's Jerry Springer all were steady at a 1.4, tying Wilkos for sixth place in the genre.

Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, in repeats, weakened 15% to a 1.1.

The two veterans that won't return next year were down and flat. Warner Bros.' Anderson Live was not live and thus dipped 10% to a 0.9. Debmar Mercury's Jeremy Kyle held at a 0.4.

Disney-ABC's Katie was the only rookie talker to see growth, rising 6% from the previous frame to a 1.7, despite being in repeats on two of the five days.

NBCU's Steve Harvey, CTD's Jeff Probst, Twentieth's Ricki Lake and NBCU's Trisha all were unchanged at a 1.5, 0.7, 0.6 and 0.5, respectively.

Similarly, CTD's Judge Judy held steady for the week at a 6.8, growing 8% compared to last year.

Meanwhile, the rest of the court category showed signs of stabilizing after recent weakness.

In second place, CTD's Judge Joe Brown, now finishing up its run, was flat at a 2.2. Warner Bros.' People's Court picked up 6% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis moved ahead 7% to a 1.5. Twentieth's Judge Alex and Divorce Court, Entertainment Studios' America's Court, Justice for All and We the People all were unchanged at a 1.3, 1.2, 0.7, 0.4, and 0.2, respectively.

Game shows were mixed. CTD's leader, Wheel of Fortune, slowed 4% from the prior week to a first-run leading 6.9. CTD's Jeopardy! rebounded 5% to a 6.2, after three straight weeks of declines. Debmar- Mercury's Family Feud was flat at a 4.8. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire cashed in with a 4% increase to a 2.5. NBCU's newcomer, Baggage, was unchanged at a 1.1.

CTD's Entertainment Tonight topped the magazines with a 3.5, 3% from the prior week but up 3% from last year. CTD's Inside Edition added 4% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.' TMZ held firm at a 1.9. NBCU's Access Hollywood, the group's only gainer in the prior session, gave back 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.' Extra was steady at a 1.5. CTD's rebranded omg! Insider eased 7% to a 1.3, although its companion, omg! Insider Weekend, surged 33% to a 0.8. Twentieth's freshman, Dish Nation, remained at a 1.0.

Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms and all of syndication at a 7.1, down 4% from the prior week. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men was flat at a 4.7. Twentieth's Family Guy gained 6% to a 3.5. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother and King of the Hill both were flat at a 2.4 and 2.3, respectively. Sony Pictures Television's Seinfeld spiked 5% to a 2.2. Warner Bros.' Friends recovered 5% to a 2.1, while CBS Television Distribution's Everybody Loves Raymond retreated 5% to a 1.9.