Syndie on Holiday High

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The Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday and the presidential inauguration combined to boost the ratings for syndie daytime shows in the week ending Jan. 23. With people staying home from work and chilly winter weather, levels of households using television jumped by nearly 2 million, a 5% increase from the prior week.

The all-network coverage of the inauguration effectively shortened the week and heightened the holiday’s impact for most daytime strips by causing Nielsen to remove the day from most shows’ averages. Three first-run strips had their best week of the season: Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown, Buena Vista’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and NBC Universal’s The Jane Pauley Show.

Judge Joe scored a new season high 4.0, including its highest single-day rating in two years, a 4.5, on Monday, Jan. 17.

The number-two court show, JudgeJoe, was up 8% in households and up 11% from last year at this time. Millionaire was up 8% to a 4.0, its second new-season high in the past three weeks, reaching a 4.2 on Monday. And freshman Jane Pauley was up 6% to a new series high 1.8.

In other rookie news, Buena Vista’s The Tony Danza Show spiked 25% to a 1.5, tying its series high and peaking at a 1.6 Monday.

Twentieth’s Ambush Makeover shot up 30% to a 1.3, also matching its series high. Warner Bros.’ The Larry Elder Show was up 10% to a 1.1.

Sony’s Pat Croce: Moving In was down 14% to a 0.6. And Sony’s Life & Style was unchanged at a 0.5. Paramount’s The Insider, while unchanged, remained the highest-rated new first-run strip for the 19th consecutive week at a 2.8.

Among the talk vets, King World’s The Oprah Winfrey Show was up 9% to an 8.1, and up 11% year to year.

The bump is mostly due to the strength of an episode featuring designer Nate Berkus, who was caught in the Southeast Asia tsunami over the holidays. King World’s Dr. Phil was up 4% to a 5.4 and up 2% from last year. Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly, one of only two talkers to improve the previous week, continued to roll, gaining 8% to a 3.9.

NBC Universal’s Maury was unchanged at a 3.1. Paramount’s Montel Williams jumped 12% to a 2.8, equalling its season-high. 

Montel hit a 3.3 on Monday, its best day in nearly two years. Year to year, Montel was up 8%. Warner Bros.’ Ellen added 4% to a 2.4, up 20% from last year, the best year-to-year improvement of any talker. NBC U’s Jerry Springer was the only talker to decline, down 4% to a 2.2. NBC U’s Starting Over remained unchanged at its series high 1.2, up 9% from last year. Twentieth’s Good Day Live was up 11% to a 1.0.

Paramount’s Judge Judy, as usual, ruled the court shows with a 5.3, down 2% from the prior week but up 6% from last year.

Twentieth’s Divorce Court was up 7% to a 3.0, in third place after Judge Joe Brown. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was also up 7% to a 2.9, equalling its previous season high. Warner Bros.’ Judge Greg Mathis gained 8% to a 2.7, also tying its best rating of the season. Twentieth’s Texas Justice was unchanged at a 2.0 and Sony’s Judge Hatchett was up 12% to a 1.9.

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