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Syndies: Justice , Jones show upticks

Two shows actually hit new season highs in the middle of the slow summer
syndie season during the week ending July 20.

By covering breaking news about pro-basketball star Kobe Bryant’s sexual-assault charges, Warner Bros.’ Celebrity Justice was up 15% to a
best-ever 1.5 rating in mostly late-night time periods.

The other show to see a surprising uptick was Warner Bros.’ lame-duck
Jenny Jones, not expected to return next season after a 12-year run.
Jenny Jones gained 11% to a 2.1 rating, putting it in seventh place among
the 15 talk shows.

Only three other talk shows besides Jenny managed increases for the

Universal Television’s Maury was up 9% to 3.6, beating Buena Vista Television’s Live with
Regis and Kelly
. That show was down 9% to 3.2 for the third time in five
weeks. The two shows tied once during that span.

Universal’s The Jerry Springer Show rose 4% to 2.8, while Universal’s
Crossing Over with John Edward was up 20% to 1.2.

The top talk show remains King World Productions’ Oprah, which was unchanged at a
5.5, followed by King World’s rookie talker, Dr. Phil, flat at 4.1.

The newest edition to the talk genre, Litton Syndications Inc.’s Ask Rita,
declined 25% to a 0.3 in its third week on the national chart.

Elsewhere in daytime, five of the seven court shows were winners, but
ironically, the only loser was Paramount Domestic Television’s top-rated Judge Judy, which
slipped 4% to 4.5.

On the plus side, Twentieth Television’s Divorce Court jumped 16% to 2.9.
Twentieth’s Texas Justice added 5% to 2.3, and Warner Bros.’ Judge
Greg Mathis
and People’s Court each grew 5% to 2.0.

Sony Pictures Television’s Judge Hatchett surged 12% to 1.9, while Paramount’s Judge
Joe Brown
was unchanged at 3.3.

Twentieth’s dating rookie, Ex-Treme Dating, was up 11% to 1.0 in its
sixth week and was the only new first-run strip with an increase other than
Celebrity Justice. The other newcomers were all unchanged for the week.

In the off-net sitcom race, Sony’s Seinfeld, which was down 7% to 5.6,
fell into a second-place tie with King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond,
which was unchanged at 5.6.

Warner Bros.’ Friends led the comedies for a second week, although it
was down 2% to 6.0.

The big winner on the weekend was Paramount’s Hot Ticket, which soared
27% to 1.9 with a feature on the most romantic movies of all time (on the list
were Casablanca, Moonstruck and An Affair to Remember).
Compared to last year at this time, Hot Ticket was up 19%.

Rival movie-review show Buena Vista’s Ebert & Roeper at the
also scored a 1.9 but was down week-to-week and year-to-year by 10%.

Twentieth’s two new slow rollouts, Classmates and Ambush
, have been out nationally for three weeks, after the weekend ending
July 27.

Classmates is doing better, with an average 1.9 rating/5 share in the
metered markets. That’s up 6% over week two but still down 27% from its average
lead-in and down 24% from its year-ago time-period average.

Ambush Makeover earned a 1.6 rating/5 share, its lowest weekly
average yet, down 6% from week two and underperforming its lead-in and year-ago
time period by 24% and 30%, respectively.