The news that former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his wife, Maria Shriver, were terminating their 25-year marriage sent the syndicated entertainment magazines soaring in the week ended May 15.
CBS Television Distribution's Entertainment Tonight had the highest marks, hitting a 3.9, a 5% jump from the prior week. On May 10, the day the story broke, ET gained 16% to a 4.3. CTD's Inside Edition grew 7% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.' TMZ and NBCUniversal's Access Hollywood duplicated their prior week's performances at a 2.1 and 2.0, respectively. CTD's The Insider held steady at a 1.7. Warner Bros.' Extra climbed 7% to a 1.6, after gaining 20% with its Schwarzenegger coverage on May 10.
CTD's Judge Judy remained the top syndicated show for the second week in a row with a 6.9, a 3% jump from the week before and the show's highest rating in seven weeks. CTD's Judge Joe Brown was flat at a second place 2.7. Warner Bros.' People's Court dropped 5% to a 1.8. Twentieth's Judge Alex improved 6% to a 1.7, tying Twentieth's Divorce Court which also added 6% and hit a new season high. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis flat at a 1.5, while Warner's Jeanine Pirro remained at its season-low 0.8.
CTD's Oprah, in the show's third from final week, continued to lead the talk shows, up 4% from the prior week to a 5.4. CTD's Dr. Phil, which had hit its highest ratings since February in the prior week, held firm at a 3.1. Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly dropped 4% to a 2.4. NBCU's Maury was flat at a 2.2. Sony's Dr. Oz added 5% to a 2.2. Warner Bros.' Ellen, CTD's The Doctors and CTD's Rachael Ray all held steady at 2.0, 1.6 and 1.5, respectively. NBCU's Jerry Springer recovered half the ratings the show lost in the previous week, adding 8% to a 1.4 and tying NBCU's Steve Wilkos, which rebounded 17%. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams was flat at a 1.1.
CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace continued to lead the first-run newcomers, with a steady 1.7. Sony's Nate Berkus was a distant second at a 0.9 for the sixth week in a row. 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 0.8.0.7 and 0.3, respectively.
NBCU's Access Hollywood Live, which is being slowly rolled out in 14 metered markets, notched a 0.9 rating/3 share, up 13% from its year-ago time period average. Among women 18-49 the show spiked 100% to a 0.6/4 and among women 25-54, it surged 75% to a 0.7/5.
Game shows bounced back. CTD's Wheel of Fortune rebounded 5% to a 6.6. CTD's Jeopardy! recovered 8% to a 5.6. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud picked up 9% to a 2.4. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire was the only game to remain flat at a 2.3. Twentieth's Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader gained 10% to a 1.1.
Off-net sitcoms were mostly up or flat. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men shrank 2% to a 6.5 and slipped to third place in the overall household syndication rankings behind Judge Judy and Wheel of Fortune. Twentieth's Family Guy upticked 2% to a 4.6. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids advanced 3% to a 3.1. Warner Bros.' George Lopez was up 3% to a 3.0. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond and Sony's Seinfeld each were unchanged at a 2.6. NBCU's The Office and Twentieth's King of the Hill both climbed 4% to 2.5. Warner Bros.' Friends rose 5% to 2.0.
Among the rookie off-net and off-cable strips, Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother remained in the lead, but dropped 7% to a 2.8. Warner Bros.' The New Adventures of Old Christine also declined 7% to a 1.4. Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns retreated 8% to a 1.1.