Syndicated Ratings: Magazines Strong, Talk Shows Down


Magazines in general, and Entertainment Tonight in particular, were the syndication standouts in the week ending Jan. 7. That was thanks to a ratings boost from coverage of the Donald Trump/Rosie O'Donnell battle. By contrast, talk shows, other than Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil, dropped by double digits.

ET was the biggest gainer of any syndicated strip in any category, up 17% from the week before to a 5.5 rating, its second best week of the season.

On Jan. 4, with a Trump/O'Donnell lead story, ET jumped 32% from the prior week to a 6.2, its highest single-day rating of the season.

Every other mag also was up with coverage of the fight. Inside Edition was up 9% to a 3.6; Access Hollywood was up 4% to a 2.7; The Insider was up 8% to a 2.6, and Extra was up 10% to a 2.2.

However, compared to last year at this time, the only magazine to show any gains was ET, which grew 2%. Talk leaders Oprah, up 9% to a 5.9, and Dr. Phil, up 5% to a 4.6, did fine, but every other talk vet was down sharply.

Many shows ran into preemptions for New Year's Day, bowl games and the Jan. 2 President Ford funeral. Live With Regis & Kelly, which was in reruns all week, dropped 19% to a new season low 2.9, and Maury was down 25% to a 2.1, which dropped the show into fifth place following rookie sensation Rachael Ray, which has been renewed through 2010.

Ray held firm at its season high 2.3, which was more than triple the rating of the only other new talker still in production with a national rating for the weel, Greg Behrendt, at a 0.7, down 22%. Although Dr. Keith Ablow remains in production, no national rating was available.

Numbers for most court shows continued to be soft. Judge Judy was down 6% to a 4.5, and second-place Judge Joe Brown dipped 3% to a 2.8. Year to year, Judy lost 13%, while Joe tumbled 15%. In fact, none of the courts were up from last year. The rookie judges were both down, with Cristina's Court down 7% to a 1.3 and Judge Maria Lopez down 9% to a 1.0.