Syndication Ratings: Three-Way Tie at Talk's Top

'Dr. Phil,' 'Ellen,' 'Live!' all battle for first as summer gets underway
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The top three talkers all tied for first in the week ended June 16, with Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael and Warner Bros.' Ellen both benefiting by remaining in originals.

Fresh off being named best entertainment talk show at the Daytime Emmys for the seventh time, Ellen improved 9% from the previous frame to a 2.4 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Live! and Phil, in repeats all week,each dipped 4%. This is the third straight week that Live! tied Phil for first place among all talkers.

Year to year, Ellen gained the most of any talk show, increasing 26% from the same week in 2012.

The other talkers also were lively, despite being buffeted by preemptions for coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup finals, U.S. Open golf, French Open tennis and in some Southern markets, the George Zimmerman murder trial.

Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz, which just won its third consecutive Daytime Emmy for best informative talk show and has been renewed through the 2016-17 TV season, held steady at a fourth place 2.1.

NBCUniversal's Maury jumped 11% to a 2.0, which was the largest week-to-week improvement of any top-tier talk show. NBCU's Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos, CTD's Rachael Ray and Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams all grew 8% to a 1.3. CTD's The Doctors held steady at a 1.2. Meredith's The Better Show trailed at a 0.2, up 100% from the prior week's 0.1.

Disney-ABC's Katie led the rookies at a steady 1.6, while NBCU's Steve Harvey, which has been renewed through 2016, held firm at a 1.4. Katie and Harvey, neck and neck all season, tied among daytime's key demographic of women 25-54 at a 0.8.

The other rookie talker to be renewed for year two, NBCU's Trisha, was flat at a 0.5.

At the very top of the syndication rankings, CTD's Judge Judy was steady for the week at a 6.6, up 6% from last year at this time. Judy, which was finally named outstanding court show for the first time in the show's long history, has spent the past seven weeks as first-run's top-rated program.

The rest of the court shows mostly declined. Warner Bros.' People's Court, now the second-place court with the departure of CTD's Judge Joe Brown, averaged a 1.8, up 6% for the week. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis sank 7% to a 1.3. Twentieth's Judge Alex and Divorce Court and Entertainment Studios' America's Court all were flat at a 1.2, 1.2 and 0.7, respectively. ES' newbie, Justice for All, slid 20% to a 0.4, while ES' sophomore, We the People, plunged 33% to a 0.2.

Magazines, which were hot in the prior session, were mostly flat to down, after being widely preempted by golf, hockey and tennis. Warner Bros.' Extra had its most preempted week of the season, getting bumped a record 77 times.

The only established show in the category to score an increase was CTD's omg! Insider, which grew 8% to a 1.4, and tied a steady Extra.

CTD's Entertainment Tonight led the field with a flat 3.3. CTD's Inside Edition dropped 4% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.' TMZ gave back 5% to a 1.8. NBCU's Access Hollywood held firm at a 1.6. Twentieth's newcomer, Dish Nation, perked up 11% to a 1.0.

Game shows were mixed. CTD's Wheel of Fortune fell to a new season low for the third time in five weeks, losing 3% from the prior frame to a 5.9. CTD's Jeopardy! softened 2% to a 5.4. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud finished 7% higher at a 4.5. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire appreciated 10% to a 2.3, while NBCU's newcomer Baggage zipped ahead 22% to a 1.1.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' power duo of The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men both were flat at a 6.4 and 4.3, respectively. Twentieth's Family Guy dropped 3% to a new season-low 3.1. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother, moving into its last season in primetime, moved 4% lower to a 2.3. Twentieth's King of the Hill was flat at a 2.2. Warner Bros.' Friends and SPT's Seinfeld each spiked 5% to a 2.1, while CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond rallied 12% to a 1.9.

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