Most syndicated shows rallied in the week ending April 18, snapping back after being depressed in the prior holiday week, although ratings for some strips remained depressed by President George W. Bush's April 13 press conference.
King World's Oprah and King World's Dr. Phil, court shows, magazines and the big game shows were especially hot.
In daytime, the top two talkers jumped by double digits and opened up a big lead on the rest of the field. Oprah surged 19% to a 6.9, while Dr. Phil was up 16% to a 5.1, its highest ratings in six weeks. Year-to-year, Oprah was up 38% and Dr. Phil improved 13%.
Elsewhere, all seven court room strips were up. The top two jurists, Paramount's Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown, were up 7% and 6%, respectively, with year-to-year increases of 9% and 6%. Third place was crowded. Twentieth's Divorce Court was up 4% to a 2.4, but down 14% from last year. Both Warner Bros.' Judge Greg Mathis and its People's Court were also tied at a 2.4. Mathis was up 9% for the week, and jumped 26% year-to-year, the biggest jump for any court show. People's Court was up 14% week-to-week and year-to-year.
In access, the top-four magazines all moved higher.
Paramount's Entertainment Tonight, the highest-rated mag, had the biggest increase, up 11% to a 5.2. King World's Inside Edition was up 10% to a 3.4. NBC Enterprises' Access Hollywood was up 7% to a 2.9, while Warner Bros.' Extra! did a 2.6, an extra 4%.
Among the games, Buena Vista's third-place Who Wants To Be A Millionaire had the biggest gains, up 16% to a 3.7 final answer and up 28% over last year.
The top-two games, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, were each up 6% to 8.6 and 7.1, respectively, with year-to-year gains of 8% and 9%, respectively.
At the other end of the game-show spectrum, Warner Bros.' Street Smarts hit a new season low, down 27% to a 0.8, a 38% decline from last year at this time.