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Syndication Ratings: Syndies Swoon After Sweep Ends

With the February sweeps wrapped, syndies were mostly down in the week ended March 8.

Only one show among the top 20 daytime talkers and gavelers gained from the prior week: CBS Television Distribution’s The Doctors, which grew 9% to a 1.2, the show’s second biggest rating of the season.

Leading the talkers for the eighth straight week was CTD’s Dr. Phil, despite easing 8% to a 3.4. Phil also topped the talkers among women 25-54 with a 1.7.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael was the only other talk show to remain above the 3.0 rating threshold, although it dipped 6% to a 3.2. Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres held steady at a third-place 2.8, while NBCU’s Maury yielded 5% to a 2.0.

Further back, NBCU’s Steve Harvey slipped 10% to a 1.9. CTD’s Rachael Ray remained at a 1.5, tying SPT’s also steady Dr. Oz. Both shows were among the few to grow among women 25-54, with Rachael Ray rallying 14% to a 0.8 and Oz jumping 13% to a 0.9. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos slipped 7% to a 1.4.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, in only the show’s third week of repeats this season, weakened 32%, the largest weekly decline of any talker, to a 1.3, matching the show’s season low and tying NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which dropped 7%.

SPT’s Queen Latifah, which will abdicate syndication at the end of this month, fell 10% to a 0.9. Meredith’s The Better Show, which ends its run after this season, was up 100% from a 0.1 to a 0.2.

Among the rookies, CTD’s Hot Bench topped households for the 25th week in a row at a 1.8, and also led the field among women 25-54 with a 0.9, tied with Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game. In households, Celebrity Name Game gained 7% to a second-place 1.5.

NBCU’s Meredith Vieira ticked down 8% to a 1.1, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which also fell 8%. Trifecta’s Judge Faith was flat at a 0.8.

Among the veteran court shows, all of which lost ground, CTD’s Judge Judy dipped 1% to a 7.0. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, in second place, declined 5% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s Divorce Court lost 6% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis softened 7% to a 1.4. MGM’s sophomore Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court sank 7% to a 1.3.

Most access shows were steady, although Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud finished 4% higher at a third place 7.0, tying Judge Judy and leaping 21% from last year at this time.

CTD’s game show topper Wheel of Fortune was flat at a 7.7, leading all of syndication. CTD’s Jeopardy! inched up 1% to a 7.4. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was flat at a 1.9, and down 21% from last year at this time.

Elsewhere, MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute was steady at a 1.6.

Magazines, especially the traditional entertainment magazines fell back after an end-of-sweep boost from coverage of the Oscars.

CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight was off 8% to a 3.6. CTD’s Inside Edition dropped 3% to a 3.3. Warner Bros.’ TMZ recovered 5% to a 2.2. NBCU’s Access Hollywood held steady at its season-high 2.0. Warner Bros.’ Extra gave back 11% to a 1.6. CTD’s The Insider relinquished 7% to a 1.3.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s OK! TV both were unchanged at a 1.2 and 0.3, respectively. That kept Dish Nation tied at its series high among households while the show also hit an all-time high among viewers at 1.77 million viewers, up 24% over the same week last year.

Unlike first-run syndication, off-net sitcoms were mostly up, although that likely won't remain the case with Daylight Saving Time kicking in on March 8. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory edged up 2% to a 6.4. Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat at a 3.9. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved ahead 3% to a 3.2. Warner Bros.’ newcomer Mike & Molly advanced 4% to a 2.6. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 4% to a 2.4. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother stayed at a 2.3. SPT’s Seinfeld perked up 5% to a 2.2. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show was the one show in the top tier to drop, fading 5% to a 1.8, tying Warner Bros.’ The Middle, which rose 6%. Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.7.