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Syndication Ratings: Talkers Star in Low-Rated Week

Daytime talkers emerged is the only winners in an otherwise slow week in syndication. The week ending Apr. 12 was marked by re-runs, preemptions, and holidays. Many shows, coming out of sweeps, curtailed some of their promotional activities. Still, five talk shows rose from the previous week.

NBC's Martha Stewart had the biggest improvement, jumping 14% to a 0.8 after a show with Joan Rivers helping Martha turn Passover Matzah into a special treat on Apr. 6 reached a total audience of more than 1.6 million viewers. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks matched her season-high 1.2 with a 9% increase from the week before. The biggest show for Tyra was her headline-making interview with Levi Johnston, the former fiancé of Alaska governor Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol, on Apr. 6. That show rose 18% to a 1.3. NBCU's Jerry Springer was also up 9% to a 1.2. Maury (NBCU) gained 6% to a 1.8. Disney/ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly inched ahead 4% to 2.7.

CTD's Rachel Ray was up 6% from last year to a 1.8. CBS Television Distribution's Oprah Winfrey had both the highest rating among talk shows and the biggest decline week-to-week, falling 21% to 4.6. CTD's Dr. Phil slipped 9% to 3.0. Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres lost 17% to 1.9 with an all re-run week. NBCU's Steve Wilkos dropped 9% to 1.0. Twentieth's The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet slipped 11% to 0.8.

In contrast to the talkers, the only strip not to decline in court shows was Twentieth's Divorce Court, which held steady at 1.3. CTD's Judge Judy topped the field with a 4.2, dipping 2%. CTD's Judge Joe Brown slipped 5% to a 2.1. Warner Bros.' People's Court dropped 5% to 1.8. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis and Judge Alex each fell to new season-low 1.4s, both losing 7%. Christina's Court lost 9% to a 1.0. Judge David Young sank 13% to 0.7.

In rookie action, CTD's The Doctors made it 12 weeks at number one despite going into reruns, with a 1.8 average, down 5%. Deal Or No Deal was second at 1.6, off 6%. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt was flat at 0.9. Sony's Judge Karen fell 11% to a new season-low 0.8. Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit was unchanged at 0.6. Program Partners' Family Court tumbled 20% to a new season-low 0.4.

Among game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy were each down 8% to 6.6 and 5.6 respectively. Disney/ABC's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire declined 4% to a 2.3. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was unchanged at 1.4.

In magazines, CTD's Entertainment Tonight led the field with a 3.9, down 5%, though its weekend version, ET Weekend, was up 13% to a 1.7. CTD's Inside Edition and Warner Bros.' TMZ were flat at 2.9 and 2.2 respectively. NBCU's Access Hollywood slipped 5% to a 2.0. CTD's The Insider was down 6% to a 1.7 after losing its primary run in ten big markets to NCAA basketball on Apr. 6. NBCU's Extra fell 11% to a 1.6.

In off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two And a Half Men lost 2% to a 4.8. Twentieth's Family Guy was unchanged at 4.0. Sony's Seinfeld slid 5% to a 3.5. Warner Bros.' George Lopez was up 11% to 3.1. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond fell 6% to a 2.9. Twentieth's King of the Hill was up 4% to 2.6. Sony's King of Queens was flat at 2.5. Warner Bros.' Friends dropped 4% to a 2.4.