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Syndie Insider - Broadcasting & Cable

Syndie Insider

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May, With Little Reign Change

Most of syndication's top-tier programs continued to lead their genres as the May sweeps came to a close. Court shows were strong, although leader Judge Judy
was down 12% from last May to a 5.0 sweeps average. Judy
remained ahead of second-place Judge Joe Brown, up 3% from last year to a 3.5.

Divorce Court
remained third at a 2.9, up 7%. Texas Justice
was unchanged year-to-year at a 2.2.

Talk was mixed. The Oprah Winfrey Show
breezed through the sweeps with a 6.2, which was up 7% from last year and 27% higher than second-place Dr. Phil. That rookie talker averaged a 4.9, an 11% drop from the February sweeps. Live With Regis and Kelly
was up 9% from last May to a 3.8. Others were down.

On the down side, rookie game show Who Wants To Be a Millionaire
slipped 9% from the prior sweeps to a 3.2. Pyramid
lost 5% to 1.9. The John Walsh Show
dropped 13% to 1.3.

Among the veteran game shows, Wheel of Fortune
remained first at an 8.8, unchanged from last year, although second-place Jeopardy
fell 9% to a 7.0. Hollywood Squares
was up 4% to a 2.6. Family Feud
lost 10% to a 1.8.

Fight Slated for Apollo's Name

The Apollo Theater Foundation asked a New York court for a second time to block Western International Syndication and the Inner City Theater Group from using particular names in shows that they are distributing for the 2003-04 TV season. Those titles are Best of It's Showtime at the Apollo, Showtime and Showtime in Harlem.
The court earlier chose to "adjourn the motion," or delay acting on it.

The foundation first filed for an injunction last December, claiming that Western and Inner City are infringing on trademarks. The Apollo Foundation recently inked a five-year deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and Heritage Networks to produce and distribute Showtime at the Apollo, beginning with the coming TV season. Prior to the foundation's choosing to work with Heritage Networks, Western produced the show by that name.

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