The week ending Oct. 12 saw very few daytime syndicated shows improve on their week-before performances. In a week that included the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday, an address by President Bush and the second presidential debate, a relative handful of veteran strips managed to move up.
Among court shows, Judge Judy was the only show to rise from the bench, gaining 5% to a 4.3 rating and boasting a 95% rating advantage over its nearest rival, Judge Joe Brown, at a 2.2, which was down 4%. People's Court was flat at a 2.0. Judge Mathis lost 6% to a 1.6, tying Judge Alex, which was unchanged.
Among the established talkers, only the top two, Oprah and spin-off Dr. Phil, were up from the week before. Oprah rose 6% to a 5.3 and Phil was up 3% to a 3.2, helped by a 13% boost to a 3.5 on Oct. 7 for a show on the latest OJ Simpson trial.
Life With Regis & Kelly was unchanged at a 2.5 while Ellen Degeneres was down 5% to a 1.9. Rachel Ray and Maury were both unchanged at a 1.6.
Among the new first-run strips, the deal with Deal or No Deal is that it continued to lead all rookies with a 1.7. Lead or no lead, that number would have equaled its best rating of the new season, up 6% over the week before.
Rival game show Trivial Pursuit: America Plays was still in pursuit of more players at home, recording a .6, though that was up 20%.
Among the new talkers, The Doctors ratings pulse was holding steady at a 1.3, as was Rival talker Bonnie Hunt's at a 0.8.
In the rookie legal battle, Judge Karen at an unchanged 1.0, continued to rule over Family Court with Judge Penny, which has averaged a 0.6 for the past five weeks.
In access slots (shows airing in the hour before prime time), game shows were slightly higher. Wheel of Fortune was up 3% to a 6.7. Jeopardy! and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire were each up 4% to a 5.8 and 2.5, respectively, while Family Feud was up 7% to a 1.5.
Among the magazine shows, Entertainment Tonight was number one, as it has been for well over a decade, with a 4.2 rating, even with the week before. It ranked, after Oprah, as syndication's second-highest-rated first-run strip in the key daytime women 18-49 audience, with a 2.0 demo rating.