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Syndication Ratings: As Winter's Cold Takes Hold, Syndies Heat Up

With the holidays over and winter in full swing, several syndicated series hit season highs in the week ending Jan. 15.

CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil took the talk crown back from Dr. Oz, adding 10% to hit a 3.2 live plus same day average household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Sony's Dr. Oz was steady in second place at a 3.0, but was the top talker among the key women 25-54 demographic at a 1.8, a series high for Oz in the demo. Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly also was flat at a 2.7 as was Warner Bros.' Ellen at a 2.4. Ellen tied NBCUniversal's Maury, which softened 4% to a 2.4, although it remained the top talker among women and adults 18-34 and 18-49 for the 33rd week in a row.

CTD's Rachael Ray held steady at its season high 1.8. CTD's The Doctors improved 7% to a 1.6, and jumped 50% among women 18-34. NBCUniversal's Jerry Springer slipped 6% to a 1.5. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, back in original episodes, rose 27% to hit a new season high 1.4.

Wendy was particularly strong in demos, tying for fourth among women 18-49 with Live! and Ellen at a 1.1, a 57% week to week increase. Wendy came in sixth among women 25-54, also at a 1.1, a 38% increase, and the show came in second among women 18-34 at a 1.0, a 67% increase for the week.

NBCUniversal's Steve Wilkos weakened 7% to a 1.3. Sony's Nate Berkus remained at a 1.1.

Warner Bros.' Anderson had the biggest gain of any rookie first-run show, shooting 25% from the prior week to a new series high 1.5, and for the first time tied 20-year veteran Jerry Springer. In addition, Anderson grew 29% among women 25-54 to a 0.9. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle and Entertainment Studios' We the People each were unchanged at a 0.6 and 0.5, respectively.

CTD's Excused, a late-night dating show, strengthened 17% to a 0.7.

Also in daytime, CTD's Judge Judy racked up her 800th consecutive week as TV's top court show and more than doubled the rating of any other daytime strip to match its season-high 7.6, up 3% for the week.

Among the other court rooms, CTD's Judge Joe Brown added 7% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.' People's Court dropped 9% to a 2.1. Twentieth's Judge Alex faded 6% to a 1.7, tying Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis, which was flat at a 1.7. Twentieth's Divorce Court gained 7% to a 1.6. CTD's Swift Justice held steady at a 1.3, while Entertainment Studios' America's Court declined 10% to a 0.9.

Continuing its climb, Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory added 3% from the prior week to hit a new season high 7.0. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men dipped 1% to a second place 6.6. Twentieth's Family Guy finished 5% higher at a 4.3. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother dipped 3% to a 3.4. Sony's Seinfeld, CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond and Warner Bros.' Friends all were flat at a 2.6, 2.6 and 2.3, respectively. Twentieth's King of the Hill was up 5% to a 2.1.

Among the newcomers following Big Bang, NBCU's 30 Rock held steady at a 1.4 in late fringe. Twentieth's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia recovered 9% to a 1.2. Sony's 'Til Death was flat at a 0.7.
Magazines were all up, with only Extra holding steady. CTD's Entertainment Tonight added 3% from the previous session to a 3.9. CTD's Inside Edition tacked on 6% to a 3.3. NBCUniversal's Access Hollywood was up 5% in households to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' TMZ was up 5% to a 2.0. CTD's The Insider surged 6% to a 1.7, while Warner Bros.' Extra was unchanged at a 1.6, despite being preempted in 10 markets for news coverage.

Elsewhere in access, CTD's Wheel of Fortune picked up 3% to hit a new season high 7.8 and top all of syndication. CTD's Jeopardy! inched up 2% to a 6.3. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud and Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire were flat at a 3.2 and 2.6, respectively.