Syndies start new year with bang

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For the first week of the new year (ending Jan. 5), most syndicated shows
started strong out of the blocks in contrast to the depressed levels of
Christmas week.

Helping to boost viewing levels was bad weather in much of the country that sent
people scurrying indoors to curl up in front of the glow of a picture
tube.

Access magazines and first-run rookie strips did particularly well. All of
the mags scored double-digit increases.

Entertainment Tonight, the No. 1 mag, was up 18 percent to a 5.2;
Inside Edition was up 14 percent to a 3.3; Access Hollywood was up
29 percent to a 2.7; and Extra was up 13 percent to a 2.6.

Among rookie talkers, Dr. Phil recovered from last week's season low,
up 15 percent to a 4.5; The John Walsh Show was up 7 percent to a new
personal best 1.6; and the late-night Carolyn Rhea Show held steady at a
1.

Among rookie reality strips, Celebrity Justice was up 8 percent to
1.4, equaling its season high, and Life Moments was up 10 percent to a
new season high 1.1.

Rookie game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was up 7 percent to
3.1, matching its high, and Pyramid remained at a personal best 2.1 for a
second week.

There was a surprise in the talk-show race. For the first time, Maury
outrated Live with Regis & Kelly, pushing that show into fourth
place among talkers.

Maury was up 3 percent to a new season high of 3.4, while Live was
down 8 percent to a 3.3. The top two talk shows were Oprah, up 12 percent
to a 5.7, and Dr. Phil at 4.5.

Elsewhere, five other major shows hit new season highs: Home
Improvement
was up 12 percent to a 3.7; Fifth Wheel was up 6 percent
to a 1.8; Elimidate was up 5 percent to a 2.1; and weeklies Hot
Ticket
and Providence were both up 6 percent to a
1.8.

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