Syndication Ratings: 'Live,' 'Maury' Tie for Week's Top Talk Slot

'Judge Judy' reigns over all of syndication

In the ongoing shuffle to claim the top talker title, Disney's Live with Regis and Kelly and NBCUniversal's Maury tied for the number-one spot in the week ending July 10. Syndication ratings were mostly down in a week that included the July 4 holiday and many preemptions due to the Casey Anthony murder verdict on July 5 and the last launch of the space shuttle on July 8.

Live improved 10% to a 2.3 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, while Maury added 5%. Maury also leads all talkers in total viewers and across all key female and adult demographics.

Tied for second place at a 2.1 were CBS Television Distribution's Oprah and its spin-off, Dr. Phil, both of which were in repeats. Sony's Dr. Oz rebounded 12% from its all-time low in the prior week to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Ellen recovered 15% from its prior week's season low to a 1.5. CTD's The Doctors advanced 8% to a 1.4, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which was flat at a 1.4. CTD's Rachael Ray rose 8% to a 1.3, tying NBCU's Steve Wilkos, which was unchanged. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams was the only talk show to decline, sliding 11% to a 0.8.

Also in daytime, CTD's Judge Judy led all syndicated shows with a 6.3, up 5% in households from the prior week and up 47% from last year. In addition, Judy scored double-digit gains in every key female demo, advancing 12% among women 25-54 to a 2.9, 15% among women 1-49 to a 2.3 and 14% among women 18-34 to a 1.6.

CTD's Judge Joe Brown remained in second among the court shows, holding steady at a 2.6. Warner Bros.' People's Court added 6% to a 1.9. Twentieth's Divorce Court and Judge Alex each were unchanged at a 1.6, tying Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis, which added 7%. Warner Bros.' departing Judge Jeanine Pirro remained at a 0.8 for the 11th week in a row.

Elsewhere in daytime, Debmar-Mercury's Father Albert managed a 0.6 rating/2 share average on its six Fox stations in the first week of a scheduled five-week summer test run. That's down 14% from its 0.7/2 year-ago time period average and down 45% from its 1.1/3 lead-in.

The season's top newcomer, CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace, who has been in the news a great deal lately herself for her assertive coverage of the Casey Anthony murder trial, had its best showing in eight weeks, improving 13% to a 1.7. Among women 18-34, the show surged 40% to a 0.7.

Twentieth's already-canceled Don't Forget the Lyrics tied Sony's Nate Berkus for second place at a 0.9. Lyrics was unchanged, while Nate improved 13%. Litton's Judge Karen's Court grew 14% to a 0.8, while Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross was flat at a 0.4.

CTD's Entertainment Tonight led the magazines, holding firm at a 3.2, while companion ET Weekend improved 19% to a 1.9. CTD's Inside Edition climbed 12% to a 2.8. Warner Bros.' TMZ was the only magazine to decline from the prior week, dropping 10% to a 1.8. NBCU's Access Hollywood was steady at a 1.6. CTD's The Insider grew 7% to a 1.5 in households and 17% among women 18-49. Warner Bros.' Extra strengthened 8% to a 1.4, while Extra Weekend gained 29% to a 0.9.

Also in access, CTD's Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! were the only programs to fall from the prior week. Wheel slid 2% to a 5.9, while Jeopardy! softened 4% to a 4.8. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud jumped 8% to a new season high 2.7, marking the eighth week that Feud has beaten or tied Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Millionaire gained 15% for the week to a 2.3. Twentieth's canceled Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader improved 10% to a 1.1.

Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men remained the lead off-net sitcom, dipping 3% to a 5.7. Twentieth's Family Guy lost 4% to a 4.3. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids was unchanged at a 3.2. Warner Bros.' George Lopez was the only sitcom to improve gaining 8% to a 2.6. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond declined 4% to a 2.5, tying Sony's Seinfeld, which was flat. Twentieth's King of the Hill also was flat at a 2.4, while NBCU's The Office dimmed 4% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' Friends, renewed in half the country for a third cycle, remained flat at a 1.8.

All the new off-net and off-cable strips improved. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother gained 12% to a 2.8, Warner Bros.' The New Adventures of Old Christine grew 8% to a 1.4, and Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns added 8% to a 1.3.