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Syndication Ratings: Syndies Take the Post-Sweep Plunge

Most syndies saw drops in the first full week after the
February sweeps, which ended March 10, as many shows headed into repeats.

The off-net sitcoms, which tend to perform well when the days are long, bucked
the downtrend. Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory, a syndie standout
since its launch two seasons ago, gained 3% from the prior week to tie CTD's Wheel of Fortune at the top of the
syndication chart at a 7.5. Bang also climbed 14% from the same week
last year.

In second place, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men was
the only sitcom in the top eight to decline for the week, slipping 4% from the
prior week and 10% from last year to a 5.3.

Twentieth's Family Guy, which, like Two and a Half
is in its sixth syndie season; Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother,
in its third season; and Sony Pictures Television's Seinfeld, in its 18th
season, all were steady at a 3.7, 2.7 and 2.4, respectively.

Twentieth's King of the Hill, in its 12th
season, rose 9%, tying Sony Pictures Television's Seinfeld. Warner
Bros.' Friends, in its 15th season, was flat at a 2.2. CBS
Television Distribution's Everybody Loves Raymond, in season 12,
remained at a 2.0.

In first-run syndication, CTD's Dr. Phil remained the top talker, although the show dipped 9% for
the week to a 3.1. Still, Dr. Phil
was one of only three talkers to show improvement over last year at this time,
gaining 7% in households. Phil also
led in daytime's key demographic of women 25-54 at a 1.8, down 5% for the week.

The only other talk shows to outperform over last year were
Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael,
unchanged for the week in second place at a 2.7, and up 4% for the year; and
Warner Bros.' Ellen, steady for the
week but up 8% from last year to a third-place 2.6.

Rounding out the top five were SPT's Dr. Oz, in fourth place, which was flat for the week at a 2.5, and
NBCUniversal's Maury, which eased 4%
to a 2.2.  

In sixth place, CTD's Rachael
held firm at a 1.5. CTD's The
and NBCU's Jerry Springer
also both were steady at a 1.4, tying NBCU's Steve Wilkos, which slipped 7%.

Warner Bros.' Anderson
was even with the prior week at a 1.1, while Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams had the week's
biggest decline, dropping 17% to a 1.0, equaling its season low. Debmar-Mercury's
Jeremy Kyle, which ends its run after
this season, trailed with an unchanged 0.5.

Among the talk rookies, Disney-ABC's Katie, in originals, dipped 5% to a 1.8, while NBCU's Steve Harvey, in repeats, dropped 13% to
a 1.3. CTD's Jeff Probst and NBCU's Trisha Goddard each were stable at a 0.7
and 0.6, respectively, while Twentieth's Ricki
declined 14% to tie Trisha. Neither Jeff Probst nor Ricki Lake
will be back next year, while the other three freshman talkers all will return.

CTD's Judge Judy
remained far in front of the court shows at a 7.3, down 3% for the week
but up 3% from last year at this time, and the only gaveler to show a
year-to-year gain. In second place, CTD's Judge
Joe Brown
was flat at a 2.5. Warner Bros.' People's Court climbed 6% to a 1.9, while Judge Joe Mathis eroded 7% to a 1.4. Twentieth's Judge Alex slid 7% to a 1.3, tying Divorce Court, which was flat.
Entertainment Studios' America's Court,
freshman Justice for All and We the People all were unchanged at a
0.7, 0.4 and 0.2, respectively.

The magazines, coming off a strong week powered by Oscar
coverage, relinquished some of those gains. Leader Entertainment Tonight yielded 8% to a 3.7. In second place, CTD's Inside Edition dipped 3% to a 3.2. CTD's
new omg! Insider backtracked 7% to a
1.4, while Twentieth's newcomer Dish
remained at a 1.0.

Warner Bros.' TMZ,
NBCU's Access Hollywood and Warner
Bros.' Extra all held steady at a
2.1, 1.9 and 1.6, respectively.

Game shows were relatively unaffected. CTD's Wheel of Fortune softened 1% from the
prior frame to a 7.5, still good enough to tie Big Bang for syndication's overall lead. On the other hand, CTD's Jeopardy! improved 3% to a 7.0, coming
within a half a ratings point of Wheel.
That's the closest the two shows have been all season.

Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud remained at a 5.2, although it surpassed Wheel for the first time among women 25-54 with a 2.9. Feud also comes in second place in first-run syndication in that key demo, behind only Judge Judy. (Big Bang is syndication's overall demo leader at a 5.4.)

Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a
faded 4% to a 2.4, while NBCU's rookie Baggage weighed in at an unchanged 1.1.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.