Syndication Ratings: Syndies Settle as Whitney Houston Media Storm Subsides

'Judge Judy,' 'Big Bang' tie to top syndication

Syndies settled down in the third week of the February sweep as mild weather on the East Coast and elsewhere took people away from their televisions in the week ending Sunday, Feb. 26.

All of the syndicated magazines fell back to earth as noise around the death of pop diva Whitney Houston and the Grammy Awards receded. Still, none of the magazines lost ground compared to last year.

CBS Television Distribution's leader, Entertainment Tonight, at a 4.1 live plus same day national household ratings average, declined 9% from the two-year high the show hit the previous week, but improved 2% from last year. CTD's Inside Edition faded 6% to a 3.3, and was flat year to year. Warner Bros.' TMZ -- which will start testing a spin-off, TMZ Live, on Fox's KTTV Los Angeles next week -- stumbled 5% to a 2.1, but improved 5% from last year. NBCUniversal's Access Hollywood slipped 13% to a 2.0, and was even with last year. That show's spin-off, Access Hollywood Live, which airs in 17 markets, was up 22% year to year to a 1.1 rating/4 share, although it was flat week to week. CTD's The Insider returned 5% to a 1.9, but boasted the largest year-to-year improvement with a 6% increase. Warner Bros.' Extra yielded 6% to a 1.7, and was on par with last year.

CTD's Dr. Phil was the top talker for the 18th time this season, despite giving back 6% to a 3.2. In second place,

Sony's Dr. Oz was flat at a 3.0. Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly inched up 4% to a 2.8. NBCU's Maury edged ahead 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.' Ellen slid 4% to a 2.5. CTD's The Doctors held steady at its season-high 1.8. CTD's Rachael Ray remained at a 1.6. NBCU's Jerry Springer sank 6% to a 1.5, while NBCU's Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.4. Sony's Nate Berkus also was steady at a 1.1, tying Debmar- Mercury's Wendy Williams, which weakened 8%.

Warner Bros.' newcomer Anderson fell 7% to a 1.4. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle, another rookie first-run strip, was flat at a 0.7, while Entertainment Studios' We the People dropped 20% to a 0.4. CTD's Excused, a late-night dating show, was unchanged at a 0.7.

CTD's Judge Judy returned to the top of syndication charts for the first time this year, tying Warner Bros.' Big Bang Theory as syndication's top show. Judy added 1% for the week to hit a 7.4.

Following Judy, CTD's Judge Joe Brown dipped 6% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.' People's Court fell 4% to a 2.3. Twentieth's Judge Alex, Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis, Twentieth's Divorce Court, CTD's Swift Justice, and Entertainment Studios' America's Court all were flat at a 1.9, 1.7, 1.6, 1.4, and 1.0, respectively.

CTD's Wheel of Fortune skidded 1% to a 7.3, good enough to lead the games and for third place among all syndies behind Judy and Bang. CTD's Jeopardy! softened 3% to a 6.2. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud finished 3% ahead at a new season-high 3.3. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire remained at a 2.7.

Among the off-net sitcoms, The Big Bang Theory led with a 7.4, up 1% from the prior week. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men upticked 2% to a 6.4. Twentieth's Family Guy was flat at a 4.5. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother jumped 13% to a 3.4. Sony's Seinfeld moved up 4% to a 2.7. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond rose 4% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.' Friends, which launched in high definition on Monday, remained at a 2.2. Twentieth's King of the Hill declined 9% to a 2.1.

Among the freshmen laffers following Big Bang, NBCU's 30 Rock retreated 7% to a 1.3, tying Twentieth's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which added 8%. Sony's ‘Til Death declined 14% to a 0.6.