Syndication Ratings: ‘Oprah' Climbs Thanks To Palin Interview

‘Wilkos' rises to new season-high

It was a mixed bag for talk shows in the third week of the sweep. On the positive side, CBS Television Distribution's (CTD) Rachael Ray had the largest increase among the talkers with a 13% jump from the week before to a 1.8. Ray's biggest draw was her A-to-Z Guide to Thanksgiving show, which cooked up a 19% increase to a 1.9 on Nov. 16. Also smoking were NBCU's Steve Wilkos, which advanced 8% to a new season-high 1.3 and CTD's Oprah, which managed a 5% gain to a 6.1 thanks to an 8.5 rating for her Sarah Palin show on Nov. 16.

Meanwhile, five gabfests lost ground in the week ending Nov. 22. Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly slid 4% to 2.6. Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres was also down 4% to 2.3. CTD's The Doctors eased 5% to 1.9. NBCU's Jerry Springer sank 8% to 1.2. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt tumbled 11% to 0.8. In addition, rookie talker Sony's Dr. Oz suffered a 4% ratings hemorrhage to a 2.6. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams was 8% lower at 1.2.

Twentieth's Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader got an unchanged 1.7 on its Nielsen report card. Litton's Street Court sank 14% to 0.6. CTD's Dr. Phil, the second highest-rated show in talk, held steady at its previous season-high 3.1. Also even with the prior week were NBCU's Maury at 2.0 and Martha Stewart (NBCU) at 0.6.

Elsewhere in daytime, CTD's Judge Judy scored its highest ratings since last February with a 4.7, up 2% week-to-week and 4% year-to-year. That made it the only court show up over last year's syndication ratings. CTD's Judge Joe Brown was unchanged at a 2.1 week-to-week. Warner Bros.' People's Court lost 5% to 2.0. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis dropped 12% to 1.5. Twentieth's Judge Alex added 7% to 1.5. Twentieth's Divorce Court took a 7% dive to 1.3. Warner Bros.' Judge Jeannine Pirro trailed with a 10% slide to 0.9.

NBCU's The Office was easily the top off-net sitcom, despite dipping 3% to 3.0. CTD's Everybody Hates Chris was up 11% to a new season-high 2.1. Twentieth's My Name Is Earl got a 5% boost to a new season-high 2.0.

CTD's Entertainment Tonight scored a 4.5, down 4% from the previous week's season high. CTD's Inside Edition slipped 3% to 3.2. NBCU's Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.' TMZ and CTD's The Insider were all unchanged at 2.1, 1.9 and 1.8, respectively. Warner Bros.' Extra eroded 6% to 1.7.

Game shows did little except for NBCU's Deal Or No Deal, which perked up 9% to 1.2. Leader CTD's Wheel of Fortune skidded 3% to 7.3. Jeopardy (CTD) was down 2% to 6.2. Disney/ABC's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud were flat at 2.6 and 1.3, respectively.

Off-net sitcoms were mixed. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men fell 2% to 5.3. Twentieth's Family Guy and Sony's Seinfeld were unchanged at 3.6 and 2.8, respectively. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond was up 4% to 2.7. Warner Bros.' George Lopez lost 4% to 2.6. Twentieth's King of the Hill and Warner Bros.' Friends were each up 5% to 2.3 and 2.1, respectively. House of Payne depreciated 5% to 2.0.