Syndication Ratings: Sheen Coverage Sends Syndie Mags Flying

Only first-run strip to drop for week is Watson-less 'Jeopardy!'

Charlie Sheen's manic media tour sent the ratings for syndicated magazines soaring in the week ending Feb. 27.

CBS Television Distribution's leader Entertainment Tonight advanced 3% to a 4.0. CTD's Inside Edition, in second place, improved 14% to a 3.3. NBC Universal's Access Hollywood gained 5% in households to a 2.0, and also added 17% among young women 18-34. That tied Warner Bros.' TMZ, which has been at the forefront of the Sheen coverage, and added 5%. CTD's ET spin-off, The Insider, which just added Kevin Frazier as a co-anchor, held steady at its sweeps-high 1.8. Warner Bros.' Extra improved 6% in households to a 1.7, and added 14% among women 18-49.

Without IBM's game-show champion, Watson, ratings for CTD's Jeopardy! returned to normal levels, and was syndication's only first-run strip to lose ground this week. The quiz show declined 11% to a 6.4, but still notched a second-place household finish among all syndicated shows.

All of the other games finished higher. Syndication's top-rated show, CTD's Wheel of Fortune, rose 4% to a 7.8. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire improved 5% to a 2.3. Debmar-Mercury Family Feud spiked 13% to a 1.8. Twentieth's Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader perked up 11% to a 1.0.

CTD's Oprah continued to lead the talkers, inching up 2% from the prior week to a 5.7. In second place, CTD's Dr. Phil was second, holding firm for the week at a 3.1, and gaining 19% from last year. Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly was flat at a 2.6. Sony's Dr. Oz inched up 4% to a 2.4, tying Warner Bros.' Ellen, which improved 9%. NBCU's Maury picked up 5% to a 2.1. CTD's The Doctors grew 6% for the week to a 1.9. CTD's Rachael Ray whipped up a 6% rise to a 1.7. NBCU's Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.4, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which gained 8%. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams was flat at a 1.1. 

For the 754th week in a row, CTD's Judge Judy was the top court room, edging up 2% to a 4.6. In second place, CTD's Judge Joe Brown gained 11% to a 2.1, including a 26% bump to a 2.4 for an episode on Feb. 21 in which a man sued his ex-girlfriend and her mother for destroying his stuff after he left her for the former's girlfriend's friend. 

Warner Bros.' pair of courts -- People's Court and Judge Mathis -- each were flat at a 1.9 and 1.6, respectively. Twentieth's Judge Alex, which hit a new season low in the prior session, rebounded with a 27% increase to a 1.4. Twentieth's Divorce Court gained 8% to a 1.3, while Warner Bros' Judge Jeanine Pirro trailed with an unchanged 1.0.

Among the first-run rookies, CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace remained the leader with an 8% jump to a 1.4. Sony's Nate Berkus, Twentieth's Don't Forget the Lyrics, Litton's Judge Karen's Court and Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross all were flat at a 1.0, 0.7, 0.6, 0.3, respectively.

Meanwhile, NBC U's slow roll-out Access Hollywood Live continued to improve on its year-ago time period average, gaining 10% on the week with a 1.1/4, in its 13 metered markets for the week ending March 2. The show also grew 75% over last year among women 18-49 to a 0.7/5.

Among the new off-net and off-cable strips, Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother, which CBS just renewed for two more years, was flat at a 2.5. Warner Bros.' New Adventures of Old Christine gained 8% to a 1.3. Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns was up 10% to a 1.1. Warner Bros.' off-HBO Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm and NBCU's off-Bravo Real Housewives all were unchanged at a 0.7, 0.7 and 0.5, respectively. 

Off-net sitcoms were mostly down. Warner Bros.' sitcom leader, Two and a Half Men, remained unaffected by the Sheen show, dipping just 2% to a 5.9. Twentieth's Family Guy inched up 2% to a 4.1. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond dipped 4% to a 2.7. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids retreated 7% to a 2.5, tying Sony's Seinfeld, which fell 4%. NBCU's The Office lost 4% to a 2.4. Twentieth's King of the Hill rose 5% to a 2.1, tying Warner Bros.' George Lopez, which was unchanged at a 2.1. Warner Bros.' Friends advanced 11% to a 2.0, while CTD's Everybody Hates Chris was up 7% to a 1.6.