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Syndication Ratings: Talkers Ramp Up at Start of May Sweeps

As the May sweeps got under way, six of the top seven talkers gained ground in the week ended April 29.
That included the first two days of the May sweep, which began Thursday, April 26, and runs through Wednesday, May 23.

CBS Television Distribution's top talker, Dr. Phil, led the field for the 26th time this season, making it a solid six months in the lead. Dr. Phil added 7% to hit a 3.0 live plus same day rating in households, according to Nielsen Media Research. Phil also grew 13% to a 0.9 among young women 18-34.

Sony's Dr. Oz, in sole possession of second place, tacked on 4% to a 2.7. Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly, which had fallen to a season low in the prior session, rebounded 4% to a 2.4 and landed in a tie for third place with Warner Bros.' Ellen, which rose 14%. NBCU's Maury was flat in fifth place at a 2.3.

CTD'sThe Doctors climbed 13% to a 1.7, the show's highest rating in eight weeks. CTD's Rachael Ray increased 7% to a 1.5. NBCU's Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos, Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams and Sony's Nate Berkus all were steady at a 1.4, 1.2, 1.1 and 1.0, respectively.

Warner Bros.' rookie talker, Anderson, spiked 7% to a 1.5. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle and Entertainment Studios' We the People were flat at a 0.6 and 0.4, respectively.

CTD's Judge Judy muscled its way back to the top of syndication, pushing aside Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory, which had been on top for the prior four weeks.

Judy gained 3% from the prior week to hits its best ratings in seven weeks, a 6.8 in households, and also added on 10% among women 18-49 to a 2.3. Judy has led the court genre for 815 consecutive weeks, or 15-plus years.

CTD's Judge Joe Brown added 4% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.' People's Court picked up 5% to a 2.0. Twentieth's Judge Alex was flat at a 1.6. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis climbed 7% to a 1.5, tying Twentieth's Divorce Court, which improved 15% to a 1.5. CTD's canceled Swift Justice was flat at a 1.2, and down 29% from last year at this time. Entertainment Studios' America's Court was unchanged at a 0.9.

NBCU's slow roll-out, Access Hollywood Live, which was recently renewed, averaged a 0.9 rating/3 share in its 17 metered markets, which was on par with the same week last year. AHL's strongest markets are Los Angeles, where it improved 67% to a 1.0/3 and Chicago, where it strengthened 50% to a 1.2/5.

In late night, CTD's Excused, another recently renewed show, maintained its 0.6 in households.

In access, CTD's Wheel of Fortune edged ahead 3% from the prior week to a 6.7 and was second only to Judge Judy in overall syndication. CTD's Jeopardy! upticked 2% to a 5.7. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud finished 3% ahead at a 3.0. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire perked up 4% to a 2.6.

CTD's magazine leader, Entertainment Tonight, eased 3% to a 3.5. CTD's Inside Edition added 3% to a 3.1. Warner Bros.' TMZ was flat at a 1.9. NBCU's Access Hollywood held steady at a 1.8. CTD's The Insider increased 7% in households to a 1.6 and 33% among women 18-34. Warner Bros.' Extra jumped 7% to a 1.5.

The Big Bang Theory dipped 3% to a 6.5, landing in third place in overall syndication, but remained the top off-net sitcom by a full ratings point. Warner Bros.' veteran, Two and a Half Men, eased 2% to a 5.5. Twentieth's Family Guy was flat at a 4.1, while its How I Met Your Mother dropped 13% to a new season- low 2.6. Sony's Seinfeld and CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond each were unchanged at a 2.5 and 2.3, respectively. Twentieth's King of the Hill declined 4% to a 2.2, tying Warner Bros.' Friends, which gained 5% to a 2.2.