Most syndicated shows were up for the week ending July 13 as they recovered from the depressed viewing levels of the July 4 holiday weekend, where the Oprahs and Judge Judys have to compete not only with other shows, but with picnics, beach trips and fireworks.
Magazines were especially hot, with Entertainment Tonight reaching another milestone, marking one-dozen years atop the magazine race (626 consecutive weeks and counting).
ET was up 15% to a 3.8 rating over the previous week, driven by a 30% boost to a 4.3 July 7 and 8 for shows featuring the story of the divorce filing of Alex Rodriguez, baseball's highest-paid player, and Madonna's denial that she broke up the marriage.
Inside Edition was up 17% to a 2.7. Access Hollywood was up 25%, the largest jump in the category, to a 2.0, thanks in large part to its interview with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and family July 8-10.
Rookie TMZ was flat at a 1.9, while The Insider was up 13% to a 1.8 and Extra was up 21% to a 1.7.
The top seven talk shows were also up strongly, topped by Oprah at a 4.2. up 17%. Dr. Phil was second, up 9% to a 3.7 and boosted by a show on adult sibling rivalry July 7 that recorded a 3.9.
Live with Regis and Kelly was up 12% to a 2.8. Maury was up 11% to a 2.0. Ellen DeGeneres had the largest boost in talk, up 21% to a 1.7, with a rerun (her 50th birthday party) July 7, which recorded a 1.8.
Rachael Ray tied Ellen at a 1.7 after a 13% increase driven by a 33% jump to a 2.0 July 9 for a show on how to buy produce. Jerry Springer was up 9% to a 1.2.
Court shows were a mixed bag, with solid gains for the top three. Leader Judge Judy was up 9% to a 4.7 and up 2% from last year at this time, the only year-to-year increase in the category. Judge Joe Brown was up 4% to a 2.4 and People's Court was up 5% to a 2.3. By contrast, Judge Mathis was down 6% to a 1.7, equaling its season low. Divorce Court was unchanged at a 1.6. Judge Alex was down 13% to a new season-low 1.4. Judge Hatchett was down 17% to a 1.0, tying its season low. And Christina's Court was down 18% to a new season-low 0.9.
Game shows were mostly higher, with Wheel of Fortune up 8% to a 6.5 to lead the category, followed by Jeopardy! at a 5.8, up 16%; Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, up 4% to a 2.7; and Family Feud, up 6% to a 1.7.