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Syndie Insider

Matthews 'Captures' an Audience

After the U.S. military apprehended Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein on Dec. 13, NBC Enterprises' weekend news hour, The Chris Matthews Show, scored its highest household ratings ever.

For the week ended Dec. 21, Matthews
garnered a 2.5 household rating, beating CBS's
Face the Nation, ABC's This Week With George Stephanopolous
and Fox News Sunday.
Face the Nation
earned a 2.2, while This Week
scored a 1.9 and Fox News Sunday
a 1.2. Matthews also discussed the race for the Democratic presidential nomination during the show.

Up for Ellen, Down for Sharon

For the week ended Dec. 14, the syndicated ratings standout was Warner Bros.'The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the only first-run strip to hit a season high. Elsewhere in daytime, none of the top five talk or court shows were up.

Ellen, which has been the top-rated first-run rookie for the past five weeks, earned its highest rating yet, up 13% to a 1.8 rating. Ellen
also hit new highs in all the key female demos, up 38% in women 18-34, 20% in women 18-49 and 18% in women 25-54.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros.'The Sharon Osbourne Show
lost 7% to hit a new low of 1.3, as the show aired without its regular host. Osbourne left the show in midweek to be with husband Ozzie, who was in a London hospital after a serious accident. Guest hosts filled in for the remainder of the week.

Among the other newcomers, Buena Vista's The Wayne Brady Show
had the biggest increase of any syndicated strip, up 22% to a 1.1. NBC Enterprises'Starting Over, renewed for year two, tied Brady
at a 1.1, up 10%. King World's Living It Up! With Ali & Jack
was down 10% to a 0.9.

King World's Oprah, in repeats for the week, led all talkers but slipped 7% to a 6.2. Dr. Phil
was down 6% to a 5.0, a new season low; Buena Vista's Live with Regis and Kelly
was unchanged at a 3.9; Universal's Maury
was down 3% to a 3.0; and Paramount's Montel
was down 4% to a 2.4.