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Syndie ratings rebound slightly

After an overall slumped May sweeps period, a few series perked up for the week ending June 3rd.

The improved performances - which included double-digit increases for talk strips Montel Williams, Jenny Jones and Sally, are impressive considering the shows weren't boosted by the typical promotional bells and whistles of a sweeps period.

Montel shot up 14% to a 3.3, his highest marks in 12 weeks, which edged out Maury (3.2, down 6%) for fourth place in the talk circle, according to Nielsen Media Research. Other big movers were Sally (2.3, up 15%) and Jenny (2.2, up 10%). But more in tune with an out of regular TV season week, the rest of the chat series were down or unchanged, including leader Oprah (6.1, flat), Jerry Springer (3.6, down 5%) and Live with Regis and Kelly (3.5, down 5%).

The same goes for Judge Judy (5.2, down 10%), who dropped to her lowest point in 2 ½ years. Other court efforts were mixed, including Judge Joe Brown (3.5, down 3%), Divorce Court (2.5, flat), Judge Greg Mathis (2.1, up 11%), People's Court (2.1, up 11%).

Elsewhere, Change of Heart (1.9, up 6%) gained ground on its rival Blind Date (2.2, flat). As for the rookies, Power of Attorney (2.1, up 5%) is free of many of the sports pre-emptions it's been saddled with for several weeks. Runner-up freshmen were Judge Hatchett (1.8, down 10%), To Tell the Truth (1.7, up 6%) and Street Smarts (1.7, up 13%).

As for the weekly hours, ET (4.1, up 8%) led the race. X-Files (3.7, up 9%), E.R. (3.0, flat), Andromeda (2.4, down 27%), Xena (2.4, down 20%) and Stargate SG-1 (2.4, down 4%) filled out the rest. - Susanne Ault