Court shows top syndie circuit

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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