Court shows top syndie circuit

Viewers ruled in favor of court efforts for the week ending July 29. Six of the seven returning series gained ground or held even.

Leader Judge Judy rose 6% from last week to a 5.6 Nielsen household score. Divorce Court jumped 4% to a 2.6, its best performance in 9 weeks. Judge Joe Brown (3.4, up 3%), Judge Greg Mathis (2.0, up 5%), Power of Attorney (1.9, flat) and Judge Hatchett (1.9, up 6%) rounded out the group. People's Court (1.7, down 6%) was the only one to fall.

In more ratings news, youth-skewing dating shows Blind Date (2.4, up 4%) and Change Of Heart (2.0, up 5%) did well - likely boosted by school-free kids having time on their hands. Rookie first-run weeklies Andromeda (2.5, up 14%), Maximum Exposure (2.0, up 11%) and Sheena (1.9, up 12%) all jumped by double digits.

Most of the game and talk strips were flat or fell slightly. Among that pack were leaders of their genres Wheel of Fortune (8.3, down 3%), Jeopardy (7.3, down 1%), Oprah (5.9, flat) and Live with Regis and Kelly (3.9, down 5%). Interestingly, Live is 34% below its showing this time last year - but understandable since that was the last week for the now departed, long-running co-host Kathie Lee.
- Susanne Ault