After getting crushed by Wimbledon Championships tennis pre-emptions in the week ending July 4, ratings for most syndicated shows recovered in the week ending July 11, despite the July 4 weekend.
Dating shows, which traditionally do well when school gets out and younger viewers stay up late, were exceptionally strong. NBC Universal's Blind Date, the dating show leader for the past 14 weeks, had its highest ratings of 2004, up 20% from the prior week to a 1.8. Warner Bros.'
Elimi-Date, in second place, was up 21% to a season high 1.7. NBC Universal's Fifth Wheel, which is not being renewed, matched its best ratings of the season, up 8% to a 1.3. Twentieth's Ex-Treme Dating, which also will not be back, was up 20% to a 1.2.
In talk, Paramount's Montel Williams rebounded from a season-low last week and had the biggest percentage increase of any show in daytime, leaping 25% to a 2.5, the show's highest ratings in seven weeks and good for fifth place among the talk shows. King World's Oprah, also coming off a season low, was up 10% to a 5.7. King World's Dr. Phil was up 2% to a 4.1. Buena Vista's Live with Regis & Kelly, after its worst ratings in almost three years, was up 22% to a 3.3. NBC Universal's Maury was up 7% to a 2.9.
Four of the top five court shows were winners. Paramount's Judge Judy, the supreme ratings court, was up 7% to a 4.4. Nearest rival, Paramount's Judge Joe Brown, was up 6% to a 3.3. Twentieth's Divorce Court and Warner Bros.' People's Court tied for third at a 2.6 and were unchanged and up 18% respectively, while Warner Bros.' Judge Greg Mathis improved 10% to a 2.3.
In access, King World's Jeopardy! continued to roll as contestant Ken Jennings won his 28th straight game (as of the week ending July 11) and finished as the top show in syndication for the first time in years after being tied with King World's Wheel of Fortune the prior week. Jeopardy! was up 6% to a season-high and personal best 8.4, while Wheel was up 3% to a second-place 8.1.
All the magazines were hot. Paramount's Entertainment Tonight, the number-one magazine, was up 7% to a 4.7. King World's Inside Edition was up 17% to a 3.5 in second place. NBC Universal's Access Hollywood was up 20% to a 2.4, followed by Warner Bros.' Extra!, up 15% to a 2.3, and Warner Bros.' Celebrity Justice, up 8% to a 1.3.
King World's Everybody Loves Raymond, which just added a run on cable network TBS, was up 23% to a 5.8 and topped the off-net sitcoms for the first time. Sony's Seinfeld, unchanged at a 5.2, was second. Warner Bros.' Friends, down 2% to a 4.9, was third.