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Syndication Ratings: Talk Shows Rise in Face of Preemptions, Repeats and Nice Weather

Talk shows were the hot genre in the week ending June 17, with most strips finally on the upswing after a couple of weeks of downturns due to repeats and summer weather.

Still, preemptions were the rule of the week with many big sports events on the agenda, including the U.S. Open golf tournament, the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup finals. In Los Angeles, several daytime shows were preempted for the LA Kings' Stanley Cup victory parade. To some extent, the preemptions affected ratings, although if a show is preempted in enough markets to erode 10% of its coverage, Nielsen will break that day out of a show's ratings average.

CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil, which did not air 13 times in the top eight markets during the week due to these preemptions, dipped 4% for the week to a 2.5, but was still up 9% from last year at this time. Sony's Dr. Oz was flat at a 2.4, tying Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly, which added 2% to a 2.4. NBCUniversal's Maury was up 5% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' Ellen had the largest increase of any talker, adding 12% to a 1.9. CTD's The Doctors clocked a 1.5, up 7%. CTD's Rachael Ray rallied 8% to a 1.4. NBCU's Jerry Springer declined 7% to a 1.3, tying NBCU's Steve Wilkos, which improved 8%. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams weakened 8% to a 1.1.

After two weeks of a six-week test, Warner Bros.' Bethenny averaged a 1.1 rating/4 share on six Fox stations, making it the highest-rated Fox test in five years, beating such tests as Wendy Williams, The Huckabee Show, Fran Drescher, and Father Albert.

The show, starring Real Housewife and Skinnygirl Bethenny Frankel, retained 100% of its lead-in over the two weeks and improved its year-ago time periods by 38% in households, 100% among women 25-54, 125% among women 18-49 and 133% among women 18-34.

Among the nationally-rated newcomers, Warner Bros.' Anderson was steady at a 1.2. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle and Entertainment Studios' We the People each were flat at a 0.5 and 0.4, respectively. In late-night, CTD's Excused climbed 17% to a 0.6.

CTD's Judge Judy was in command of court with a 6.2, up 2% from the prior week. CTD's Judge Joe Brown slipped 4% to a new season-low 2.3. Warner Bros.' People's Court recovered 6% to a 1.9, after falling to a new season low in the prior week. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis gained 7% to a 1.5. Twentieth's Judge Alex was unchanged at a 1.3. Twentieth's Divorce Court slid 8% to a new season-low 1.2. Entertainment Studios' America's Court fell 10% to a 0.9.
The only magazine to decline in the week was Warner Bros.' TMZ, which dropped 5% from the prior week and 10% from last year at this time. CTD's leader, Entertainment Tonight, was up 3% to a 3.3. CTD's Inside Edition and NBCU's Access Hollywood both were steady at a 2.8 and 1.7, respectively. Warner Bros.' Extra and CTD's The Insider had the biggest increases with both shows spiking 7% week to week and year to year to a 1.5.

Among the game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune skidded 3% to a new season-low 5.9. CTD's Jeopardy! faded 4% to a 5.1. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud inched up 3% to a 3.1. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire earned 5% to a 2.3.

Off-net sitcom and this week's overall leader, Warner Bros.' Big Bang Theory, edged ahead 2% from the prior session to a 6.3. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men rebounded 4% from its season low to a 5.1. Twentieth's Family Guy advanced 6% to a 3.8. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother and King of the Hill both grew 4% to a 2.9 and 2.5, respectively. Sony's Seinfeld perked up 9% to a 2.4. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond climbed 5% to a 2.1, while Warner Bros.' Friends was flat at a 1.9.

Among the rookie sitcoms, NBCU's 30 Rock showed the most improvement, jumping 9% to a 1.2. Twentieth's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fell 8% to a 1.1. Sony's ‘Til Death slipped 14% to a 0.6.