Sharon Stays on Top of New Syndies

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Warner Bros.’ The Sharon Osbourne Show
remains the No. 1 new first-run strip in syndication for a second week, maintaining its 1.5 premiere rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show
, which had been tied with Sharon
, slipped 13% to 1.3 in its third week. However, in the same week, Ellen
rose to its highest metered-market average yet, hitting a 2.2/6 for the week ending Sept. 28.

After three full weeks, Sharon
is averaging a 1.5/4 in the metered markets, up 15% from its year-ago time-period average but down one share point from its average lead-in. Ellen
after four weeks is averaging a 2.2/6, up 16% from its year-ago time-period average and even with its lead-in share.

Ellen and Sharon
the only two new syndicated shows that are improving stations’ year-ago time periods.

Buena Vista Television’s The Wayne Brady Show
also showed greater strength in the larger cities, dipping 9% nationally to a 1.0 in its fourth week while at the same time matching its season high of a 1.6 rating/5 share in the metered markets. After four weeks, Wayne Brady
is averaging a 1.5/5 in the metered markets, down 6% from its year-ago time period and down two share points from its average lead-in.

Coming in below the 1.0 rating level were King World Productions’ Living It Up! with Ali & Jack
, which dropped 10% in its second week to a 0.9, and NBC Enterprises’ Starting Over
, which was unchanged at a 0.9 in its third outing.

Ali & Jack after three weeks is averaging a 1.3/4 in the metered markets, down 32% from its year-ago time-period average and three share points from its lead-in. Starting Over
after four weeks is averaging a 1.1/4 in the metered markets, down 21% from its year-ago time-period average and down one share point from its lead-in.

Twentieth Television’s Classmates
after 13 weeks is averaging a 1.7/5 in the metered markets, down 15% from its year-ago time-period average and down one share point from its average lead-in.

Twentieth’s Ambush Makeover
, also after 13 weeks, is averaging a 1.6/5 in the metered markets. That’s down 11% from its year-ago time-period average and down one share from its average lead-in.

One first-run weekly and two off-net weekly hours made their debuts during the week ending Sept. 28.

Warner Bros.’ The West Wing
opened at a 2.2 in 94% of the country. Twentieth’s Angel
premiered with a 1.5 in 91% of the country. Paramount’s Unexplained Mysteries
opened with a 1.3 on stations covering 94% of the country. And Sony Pictures Television’s Walker, Texas Ranger
, in its second week on the chart after a four-year hiatus from syndication, fell 6% to a 1.5.

The four new off-net strips were mixed in their second week. Sony’s King of Queens
was up 8% to 2.6. Paramount Television’s Becker
was flat at 1.8. Sony’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not
was down 9% to 1.0. And Paramount’s The Parkers
rose 11% to 1.0.

Among the established shows, King World Productions’ Oprah
dropped 6% to a still formidable 6.7 and led the talk shows. That also gave Oprah
the No. 2 spot in all of syndication for the second week in a row.

King World’s Dr. Phil
rose 4% to 5.4. Buena Vista Television’s Live with Regis & Kelly
gained 3% to 3.6. Universal Television’s Maury
lost 4% to 2.7. Paramount’s Montel Williams
sank 8% to 2.3. Universal’s The Jerry Springer Show
was flat at 2.2. Sony’s Ricki Lake
leaped 17% to 1.4. NBC Enterprises’ The John Walsh Show
was flat at 1.1. King World’s Martha Stewart Living
was up 10% to 1.1. Twentieth’s Good Day Live
was unchanged at 1.0. Universal’s Crossing Over with John Edward
was up 13% to 0.9.

In courtroom action, none of the top three shows was higher. Paramount’s Judge Judy
was flat at 4.9. Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown
slid 3% to 3.2. And Twentieth’s Divorce Court
skidded 4% to 2.6.

Among game shows, King World’s Wheel of Fortune
at an 8.6 and King World’s Jeopardy!
at a 6.4 ran one-two as usual, but No. 3, Buena Vista’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
, was up 35% from last year to a 3.1. That was the biggest year-to-year improvement of any show in syndication this week.

Compared with year-ago levels, Wheel
was up 2% while Jeopardy!
was down 4%.