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Syndication Ratings: Talkers Hit Their Stride as February Sweep Gets Underway

The top talkers all hit season highs as the February sweep got underway in the week ended Feb. 12.

CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil, now the top talker for the 16th time this season, scored its highest ratings in 21 weeks, hitting a 3.5 live plus same day household rating and tying the season high it hit in September. Dr. Phil climbed 6% in households from the prior week, and 13% from last year.

Sony's Dr. Oz came in second, jumping 7% to a new season-high 3.1.

Warner Bros.' Ellen gained 13% for the week to hit a new season high 2.7, good enough for third place. That tied Ellen with Live! With Kelly, which was steady.

In fifth place, NBCUniversal's Maury added 4% to a 2.6, followed by CTD's The Doctors, which strengthened 6% to a new season-high 1.7. CTD's Rachael Ray remained at a 1.6, while NBCU's Jerry Springer sank 6% to a 1.5. NBCU's Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.4. Sony's Nate Berkus climbed 10% to a 1.1, tying Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, which declined 8%.

Among the rookie strips, Warner Bros.' Anderson added 7% in households to a 1.5. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle and Entertainment Studios' We the People each were flat at a 0.7 and 0.5, respectively.

CTD's Excused, a late-night dating show, dipped 14% to a 0.6.

NBCU's slow roll-out Access Hollywood Live notched a 1.0 rating/3 share in its 17 metered markets, up 11% in households from last February.

The magazines were steady to higher. CTD's Entertainment Tonight continued to lead the category with a 3% gain to a 4.0, while ET Weekend gained 18% to a new season-high 2.6. CTD's Inside Edition also added 3% to a second-place 3.3. NBCU's Access Hollywood improved 5% to a 2.2, equaling its season high. Warner Bros.' TMZ was flat at a 2.2, tying Access. CTD's The Insider held steady at its season high 1.8, tying Warner Bros.' Extra. Extra was the magazines' most improved, tying its season high and adding 13% from the prior week and 6% from last year to a 1.8.

Game shows also were slightly up. CTD's Wheel of Fortune inched up 1% to a 7.7 to lead all of syndication in households. CTD's Jeopardy! tacked on 3% to a 6.4. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was flat at a 3.2. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire earned 4% to a 2.6.

Among the courts, CTD's Judge Judy held steady at its season-high 7.6. CTD's Judge Joe Brown was the second-place court room for the 683rd consecutive week, gaining 3% from the prior week to a 3.1. Warner Bros.' People's Court and Twentieth's Judge Alex each were steady at a 2.2 and 1.8, respectively. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis dropped 6% to a 1.7. CTD's Swift Justice was stable at a 1.4, tying Twentieth's Divorce Court, which dropped 13%. Entertainment Studios' America's Court was flat at a 1.0.

Warner Bros.' newcomer Big Bang Theory remained the top sitcom at a steady 7.6. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men improved 2% to a 6.6. Twentieth's Family Guy added 12% to a new season-high 4.6. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother picked up 3% to a 3.3. Sony's Seinfeld added 4% to a 2.7. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond receded 8% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.' Friends fell 12% to a 2.2, tying Twentieth's King of the Hill, which was flat. Carsey-Werner's That 70s Show lost 5% to a 1.8.

Among the rookie sitcoms, NBCU's 30 Rock held steady at a 1.4 in late night. Twentieth's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Sony's ‘Til Death each were flat at a 1.2 and 0.7, respectively.