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Syndication Ratings: Te'o Internet Hoax Drives Up Syndie Talk Ratings

The Internet hoax that embarrassed Notre Dame football star
Manti Te'o is the gift that keeps on giving for syndicated talk shows.

CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil kicked off the
February sweep on Jan. 31 with a two-part, two-day interview with the
perpetuator of that hoax, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who played the part of a woman
with whom Te'o fell in love.

Dr. Phil McGraw's exclusive interview with Tuiasosopo pulled
4.8 million viewers on Jan. 31 and 4.3 million viewers on Feb. 1. That's up 17%
from Dr. Phil's 4.1 million-viewer average, making the Jan. 31 show the
most-watched in Phil's season so far.

By comparison, Katie Couric's exclusive interview with Te'o
himself, which aired on Jan. 24, attracted nearly 3.8 million viewers. While
that episode was Katie's most-viewed so far, it still attracted less
viewers than Phil's. Part one of Oprah Winfrey's headline-making
interview with disgraced superstar cyclist Lance Armstrong pulled 4.3 million
viewers over two airings on Thursday, Jan. 17.

For the week ended Feb. 3, Dr. Phil averaged a 3.2
live-plus-same-day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, off
3% from the prior week. Phil also led the talkers among women 25-54 at a

In second place, Warner Bros.' Ellen and Disney-ABCs Live!
with Kelly and Michael
remained tied, each at a 2.8. Both shows were steady
for the week, but both grew over last year at this time with Ellen improving
17% and Live! adding 4%.

In fourth place, Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz added
4% for the week to a 2.6. NBCUniversal's Maury was unchanged at a 2.4,
but led the talkers among women 18-49 and women 18-34, with a 1.7 and 1.6,
respectively, in the two demos.

CTD's Rachael Ray and NBCU's Steve Wilkos each
were stable at a 1.6. Jerry Springer and The Doctors each also
were steady at a 1.5 and 1.4, respectively. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams dropped
7% to a 1.4, tying The Doctors. Warner Bros.' Anderson Live,
which will end its run after this season, held firm at a 1.2 while
Debmar-Mercury's similarly canceled Jeremy Kyle came in last at an
unchanged 0.6.

Among the talk rookies, Disney-ABC's Katie, which
notched its best week ever in the prior session thanks to the Te'o exclusive,
fell back 9% to a 2.0. NBCU's Steve Harvey remained at its series-high
1.6 for the fourth consecutive week. CTD's Jeff Probst held steady at a
0.7. Tying Probst, Twentieth's canceled Ricki Lake dropped 13% to a 0.7.
NBCU's recently renewed Trisha remained at its series-high 0.6 for a
third straight week.

CTD's Judge Judy topped the court rooms with a 7.4,
up 3% for the week and finishing as syndication's highest-rated daytime show.
CTD's Judge Joe Brown eased 4% to a second-place 2.5. Warner Bros.' People's
picked up 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis, Twentieth's
Judge Alex and its Divorce Court all were flat at a 1.6, 1.5 and
1.4, respectively. Entertainment Studios' America's Court gained 14% to
a 0.8. ES' freshman, Justice for All, was flat at a 0.4, and its rookie,
We the People, climbed 50% from a 0.2 to a 0.3.

Magazines were solid at sweep's start. CTD's Entertainment
and Inside Edition and Warner Bros.' TMZ all were
steady at a 3.8, 3.3, and 2.1, respectively. NBCU's Access Hollywood gained
6% to a 1.9, matching its season high. Warner Bros.' Extra advanced 7%
to a 1.6. CTD's rebooted omg! Insider was steady at a 1.4, while
Twentieth's newcomer Dish Nation, renewed for season two, remained at a

Game shows also were fairly stable, with CTD's Wheel of
flat at a 7.8, but leading the syndie chart. CTD's Jeopardy!
slipped 1% to a 6.9. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud edged ahead 4% to a
5.3. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and rookie Baggage
each were flat at a 2.6 and 1.1, respectively.

Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory cooled off 5% from
the prior week to a 7.7, dropping to second place in overall syndication.
Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men remained at a 5.6. Twentieth's Family
gave back 10% to a 3.7. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother
tumbled 13% to a 2.7. SPT's Seinfeld stayed at a 2.4. Twentieth's King
of the Hill
declined 4% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' Friends was flat at
a 2.1, while CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond retreated 5% to a 2.0.