Snow Lifts Syndies

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Syndication had its strongest week of the year in the week ended Feb. 1, benefiting from a winter storm that blanketed the East Coast.

Talk shows in particular got a boost from people cozying up in front of the TV. King World’s The Oprah Winfrey Show was up 18% from the prior week, hitting a new season-high 8.6 rating, thanks in part to the 10.9 that Oprah’s 50th birthday show scored on Jan. 29.

King World’s Dr. Phil scored a 5.5, up 4% from the prior week. Buena Vista’s Live With Regis and Kelly surged 10% to a new season-high 4.3, despite three different guest hosts filling in for Regis: Survivor’s Jeff Probst, Wheel of Fortune’s Pat Sajak and comedian Howie Mandel.

Universal’s Maury rose 10% to 3.3 and Paramount’s Montel Williams rose 8% to a season-high 2.8. Also hitting a new season-high was Twentieth’s Good Day Live, jumping 20% to a 1.2.

Rookies were all up, with Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show hitting its third new series-high in the past four weeks, up 15% from last week’s best-ever score to a 2.3 and up 64% from its September debut. Warner Bros.’ The Sharon Osbourne Show rose 8% to a 1.4.

King World’s Living It Up!With Ali & Jack jumped 44% to a series high of 1.3, after hitting its season low in the prior week. NBC Enterprises’ Starting Over was up 9% to 1.2, also a new series high. And Twentieth’s newcomer, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, averaged its best ratings yet, gaining 10% to 1.1.

In access, all the magazines were higher. Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight had its highest single-day’s rating of the season, a 7.8, with its Golden Globe coverage show on Jan. 26. That helped boost the show by 8% for the week to a 6.4.

King World’s Inside Edition was up 8% to a new season-high 4.1. NBC Enterprises’ Access Hollywood was up 6% to the show’s best-ever rating with a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Extra also hit a new season high, gaining 11% to 3.0. A Warner Bros.’ Celebrity Justice was up 8% to 1.4.

The top-four game shows all were at or near new highs. King World’s Wheel ofFortune was up 4% to 10.1, and Jeopardy! was up 1% to a season-high 8.2. Buena Vista’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire hit a new all-time high improving 2% over last week’s record to a 4.1. Tribune’s Family Feud was up 13% to a new season-high 2.6.

Elsewhere in first-run, three court shows all hit their highest ratings in several years. Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown was up 11% week-to-week and year-to-year, hitting a multi-year high of 4.0. Warner Bros.’ Judge Greg Mathis scored its third new high in four weeks, gaining 4% to 2.6, its best rating since 2001 and up 24% from last year. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was up 9% from both prior week and prior year to 2.5.