Syndication Ratings: Mid-August Ratings Rebound For Many Syndies

Several shows improve off of slow previous week despite summer reruns

Ratings rebounded for many shows in the week ending Aug. 16, with PUT levels improving. Even with summer reruns, a number of shows in syndication were able to jump from what was a slow previous week.

In court, CBS Television Distribution's Judge Joe Brown had the hot gavel, climbing 11% to a 2.1, its highest rating since early June. Judge Joe has now been the No. 2 courtroom every week for more than 10 years, 554 consecutive weeks. CTD's Judge Judy gained 3%, to a 3.8, and beat CTD's Oprah Winfrey Show for the top spot in daytime for the 8th straight week. Warner Bros.' People's Court was flat at a 1.7. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis advanced 7%, to a 1.5. Twentieth Television's Judge Alex and Divorce Court held steady at a 1.3 and a 1.2, respectively. Twentieth's Christina's Court was up 14%, to a 0.8. Sony's Judge David Young trailed with an unchanged 0.7.

Five talk shows generated steam last week. Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly rose 4%, to a 2.5. NBC Universal's Maury was up 6%, to a 1.8. CTD's Rachael Ray grew 7%, to a 1.5, after a re-broadcast of a show with Salma Hayek sent ratings up 14% on Aug. 10. NBCU's Jerry Springer sprang up 9%, to a 1.2. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks climbed 11%, to a 1.0. Meanwhile, at the top of the talk list, Oprah declined 3%, to a 3.4. CTD's Dr. Phil slipped 4%, to a 2.4. Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres was unchanged at a 1.4. NBCU's Steve Wilkos wilted 9%, to a 1.0. NBCU's Martha Stewart was stable at a 0.6.

In the race between the two shows launched in July, Twentieth's Wedlock or Deadlock had a 1.0/3, in front of Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, which had a 0.9/3 in metered markets for the week ending Aug. 23. Both shows were up week-to-week, with Wendy gaining 13% and Wedlock 11%.

CTD's The Doctors made it 30 straight weeks as the top newcomer, gaining 7%, to a 1.6. NBCU's Deal Or No Deal was firm at a 1.4. Recent entry Wendy Williams remained at a 0.9. Sony's Judge Karen was also flat at a 0.8. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt rose 17%, to a 0.7. Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit was flat at a 0.5. Program Partners' Family Court jumped 25%, to a 0.5.

Game shows were flat to down, with CTD's Wheel of Fortune leading the way, unchanged at a 5.5. CTD's Jeopardy! lost 2%, to a 4.5. Disney/ABC's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire added 5%, to a 2.3. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud fell 7%, to a 1.3.

The only magazines up from the week before were CTD's Inside Edition and The Insider, though everything else in the genre held steady. Inside Edition gained 7%, to a 2.9. The Insider climbed 6%, to a 1.7, after seeing a 14% ratings boost Aug. 11, with coverage of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's tense exchange with an African student as the lead story. Meanwhile, Insider Weekend was up 9%, to a 1.2. Inside Edition Weekend was down 18%, to a 0.9. CTD's Entertainment Tonight was the top show, holding steady at a 3.7. Warner Bros.' TMZ pulled in at a 1.9, NBCU's Access Hollywood at a 1.8, and Warner Bros.' Extra at a 1.5; all were on par with the prior week.

Off-net sitcoms were mixed. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men inched up 4%, to a 4.2. Twentieth's Family Guy dropped 6%, to a 3.3. Warner Bros.' George Lopez was up 7%, to a 3.2. Sony's Seinfeld rose 3%, to a 3.0. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond was down 3%, to a 2.9. Twentieth's King of the Hill gained 4%, to a 2.5. Sony's King of Queens lost 4%, to a 2.2, falling into a tie with Warner Bros.' Friends, which was up 5%, to a 2.2.