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Syndication Viewers Take a Holiday

The national live-plus, same-day syndicated ratings for the week ending April 16 continued to trend lower for most shows.

The Easter and Passover holidays fell in the same week and, combined with the second week of Daylight Savings Time, sent average PUT (people using television) levels skidding by more than 900,00 viewers week-to-week, and more than 4.9 million from only three weeks ago.

Just three of 11 talkers managed to buck the downtrend. Oprah was up 7% to a 6.4 rating; Live with Regis & Kelly was up 3% to a 3.3; and Maury was up 4% to a 2.6.

Second-place talker Dr. Phil was down 6% to a 4.5 and Ellen DeGeneres, the lone talker to improve last week--up 20%--was down 8% to a 2.2.

Only two talkers were up from last year at this time. Oprah was up 3%, while and Ellen, up 10%. All seven court shows were down or flat, with most at or near new season lows.

Judge Judy was down 2% to a  4.5. People's Court moved up to a second-place tie, unchanged at a 2.8. Also at a 2.8 was Judge Joe Brown, down 7%. Divorce Court was down 4% to a 2.4, for fourth place.

Next in line were Judge Mathis, unchanged at a 2.3; rookie Judge Alex, down 9% to a 2.0; and Judge Hatchett, unchanged at a 1.7.

The only two court shows were up from last year were People's Court, up 12%, and Judge Hatchett, up 6%.

In access, most of the top-tier game shows and entertainment mags were down, with many viewers observing the holidays rather than the TV, and all three of the top off-net sitcoms hit new-season lows.