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Syndication Ratings: Winehouse's Sudden Death Spikes Syndie Mags

Coverage of Amy Winehouse's death boosted ratings for the entertainment magazines in the week ending July 31.

CBS Television Distribution's leader, Entertainment Tonight, gained 3% to a 3.5 live plus same day national household average, according to Nielsen Media Research, with its coverage of the passing of the 27-year-old Grammy winner. ET did especially well on Monday, July 25, the first day that the magazines were back on the air after Winehouse was found in London her apartment over the weekend, jumping 18% to a 4.0.

NBCUniversal's Access Hollywood and CTD's The Insider both improved on the week, with Access adding 6% to a 1.8, and spiking 12% on Monday to a 1.9. The Insider increased 7% to a 1.7, and spiked 29% on that Monday. Warner Bros.' TMZ and Extra, which just added Maria Menounos as co-host, each were steady at a 1.9 and 1.5, respectively. CTD's Inside Edition, which focuses more on news than entertainment, was the only magazine to decline on the week, falling 10% to a 2.7 but still good enough to maintain its second-place hold in the genre.

Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly again claimed first in the summer talk show race with an unchanged 2.5. NBCU's Maury, in second place, was flat at a 2.4. CTD's Dr. Phil fell 4% to third place with a 2.2. Sony's Dr. Oz, in fourth place, was flat at a 2.0. CTD's Oprah fell below a 2.0 for the first time in the show's 25-year history, and dropped behind two of the show's spin-offs, declining 14% to a new series low 1.9. NBCU's Jerry Springer lost 6% to a 1.5, tying Warner Bros.' Ellen, which was flat. CTD's The Doctors held steady at a 1.4. CTD's Rachael Ray and NBCU's Steve Wilkos each dipped 7% to a 1.3. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, now traveling the East Coast on a marketing tour, was the only talker to improve, gaining 13% to a 0.9.

Among the rookies, CTD's Swift Justice declined 12% from the prior week to a 1.5. Twentieth's already-canceled Don't Forget the Lyrics lost 20% to a 0.8, tying Sony's Nate Berkus, which softened 11%. Litton's also-canceled Judge Karen's Court and Entertainment Studios' renewed America's Court with Judge Ross remained at a 0.7 and 0.4, respectively.

Twentieth's Dish Nation, a hybrid talk/entertainment news program that the Fox-owned stations are testing in seven markets, averaged a 0.9 rating/2 share metered market average for its first two weeks. That's down 36% from its 1.4/3 lead-in, and down 31% from its 1.3/3 year-ago time period average. That said, Fox is bullish on the program.

Debmar-Mercury's Father Albert, which is being tested for five weeks in six Fox markets, averaged a 0.7/2 in the metered markets for its first four weeks. That's down 30% from its 1.0/3 lead-in average, although even with its year-ago time periods. Father Albert already has been pulled in three Fox markets: New York, Minneapolis and Phoenix.

CTD's Judge Judy, in repeats all week, managed to score its second-best week of the season, with a syndication-leading 6.9, up 1% for the week and 64% from last year at this time.

Other court shows, meanwhile, were little changed. CTD's Judge Joe Brown, in second place, held firm at a 2.8. Warner Bros.' People's Court was flat at a 2.0. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis fell 6% to a 1.6. Twentieth's Divorce Court faded 7% to a 1.4, tying Twentieth's Judge Alex, which was unchanged at a 1.4.Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine Pirro, which is ending its run, trailed at a flat 0.9.

Games were steady. CTD's Wheel of Fortune continued to lead the genre but was flat at a 6.3, and in second place overall behind Judge Judy. CTD's Jeopardy! also was unchanged at a 5.4. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud sank 4% to a 2.6. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire remained at a 2.4. Twentieth's canceled Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader declined 9% to a 1.0.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men skidded 2% from the prior week to a 6.0. Twentieth's Family Guy grew 2% to a 4.4. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids slipped 3% to 3.1. Warner Bros.' George Lopez declined 4% to a 2.6. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond and Sony's Seinfeld each eroded 4% to a 2.5. NBCU's The Office and Twentieth's King of the Hill each were flat at a 2.4 and 2.3, respectively. Warner Bros.' Friends, now renewed in 90% of the country for a third cycle, retreated 5% to a 1.8.

Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother continued to preside over the off-net and off-cable strips, although it dropped 4% to a 2.7. Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns was flat at a 1.4, while Warner Bros.' The New Adventures of Old Christine fell 13% to a 1.3.