Syndication Ratings: Mags Hit Season Highs in Wake of Houston's Death, Grammys

'ET' scores its best ratings in two years
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All of syndication's access magazines hit or held at season highs in the wake of Whitney Houston's unexpected death on Saturday, Feb. 11, followed by the Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12.

CBS Television Distribution's Entertainment Tonight scored a 4.5 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, in the week ending Feb. 19. That's ET's highest rating in two years, up 13% from the prior week and up 15% from last year at this time. On Monday, Feb. 13, the day after the Grammys and the first day magazines could report both on the death of Houston and the music industry's biggest awards show, ET hit a 5.0.

In second place, CTD's Inside Edition edged up 6% for the week and 21% for the year to a new season-high 3.5. NBCUniversal's Access Hollywood advanced 5% for the week and 21% for the year to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' TMZ, which is more a comedic take on Hollywood than an entertainment news magazine, remained at its season high 2.2, up 11% from last year. CTD's The Insider also hit a new season high, growing 11% for the week and the year to a 2.0. Finally, Warner Bros.' Extra remained at its season high 1.8, adding 13% from last year.

In contrast, only one talk show hit a season high: CTD's The Doctors, which grew 6% in households to a 1.8, marking the second week in a row the show has hit a season high. The country's top doctor, CTD's Dr. Phil, led the talkers for the 17th time this season with a 3.4, dipping 3% from the prior week, but adding 10% from last year at this time.

Sony's Dr. Oz, in second place, declined 3% to a 3.0. Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly was flat at a 2.7. Warner Bros.' Ellen faded 4% to a 2.6. NBCU's Maury softened 4% to a 2.5. CTD's Rachael Ray remained at a 1.6, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which added 7%. NBCU's Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.4. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams added 9% to a 1.2, while Sony's Nate Berkus was steady at a 1.1.

NBCU's Access Hollywood Live, a slow rollout in 17 metered markets, gained 22% from last February to a 1.1 rating/4 share.

Among the rookies first-runs, Warner Bros.' Anderson was flat at a 1.5, while Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle and Entertainment Studios' We the People were flat at a 0.7 and 0.5, respectively. In late night, CTD's Excused grew 17% to a 0.7.

Elsewhere in daytime, CTD's Judge Judy dipped 4% from its season high in the prior week to a 7.3. CTD's Judge Joe Brown held steady at a second-place 3.1. Warner Bros' People's Court advanced 9% to a new season-high 2.4. Twentieth's Judge Alex improved 6% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.7. Twentieth's Divorce Court added 14% to a 1.6. CTD's Swift Justice was steady at a 1.4. Entertainment Studios' America's Court was flat at a 1.0.

Back in access, game shows were mixed. CTD's Wheel of Fortune slowed 4% to a still syndication-leading 7.4. CTD's Jeopardy! and Debmar-Mercury Family Feud each held steady at a 6.4 and 3.2, respectively. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire added 4% to a 2.7.

Almost all of the off-net sitcoms were down or flat, except Twentieth's King of the Hill. Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory cooled off 4% from the prior week to a still-strong 7.3. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men backtracked 5% to a 6.3. Twentieth's Family Guy slipped 2% to a 4.5. Twentieth's How I Met Mother fell 9% to a 3.0. Sony's Seinfeld stumbled 4% to a 2.6. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond retreated 4% to a 2.3, tying King of the Hill, the one sitcom to improve, adding 5% for the week. Warner Bros.' Friends and Twentieth's That 70s Show each were unchanged at a 2.2 and 1.8, respectively.

Among the rookie off-net sitcoms, NBCU's 30 Rock was steady at a 1.4 in late night, following Big Bang. Twentieth's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Sony's ‘Til Death each were flat at a 1.2 and 0.7, respectively.

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