Syndies Pick Up Viewers, 'Doctors' Gets Boost

The DoctorsSyndication programs generally picked up more viewers for the first week in March, with a couple of rookie shows doing well.

CBS Television's Distribution "The Doctors" had a 5% improvement for the week ending March 8 versus the previous week to a Nielsen 2.0 average household rating. NBC Universal's "Deal or No Deal" perked up 6% to a 1.8 number, good for second place among the newbies.

Veteran game shows also had improvement. Disney-ABC Television's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" climbed 13% to a 2.7. Syndication heavyweight CBS Television Distribution's "Wheel of Fortune" tacked on 3% to a 7.7, while its game-show partner in crime "Jeopardy!" grew 5% to a 6.5. Even smaller performer Debmar-Mercury's "Family Feud" rose 7% to a 1.5.

Many sturdy talk shows also had gains.

Disney-ABC's "Live with Regis and Kelly" shot up 17% to a 2.8; Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution's "Ellen" improved 9% to a 2.4; CBS Television Distribution's "Rachael Ray" didn't lose any ground at a 1.8; NBC Universal's "Maury" took 6% more to a 1.7; Warner Bros.' "Tyra Banks" was up 10% to a 1.1; NBC Universal's "Steve Wilkos" added on 10% to a 1.1.



Court shows also either grew or held firm. CBS' "Judge Judy" added 2% to 4.6; while CBS' "Judge Joe Brown" was steady at a 2.2; Warner Bros.' "People's Court" came off an improved 11% to a 2.0; Warner Bros.' "Judge Mathis" was flat at a 1.6; Twentieth Television's "Judge Alex" was also flat at a 1.5. Twentieth's "Divorce Court" grew 8% to a 1.4.

Only one magazine program showed improvement--Warner Bros.' "TMZ" was up 5% to a 2.3. CBS Television Distribution's "Inside Edition" was flat at a 3.1; as was NBC Universal's "Access Hollywood," CBS Television Distribution's "The Insider" and Warner Bros.' "Extra" at 2.1, 2.0 and 1.7, respectively.

Some notable shows swinging for loss included CBS' "Oprah" and CBS' "Dr. Phil." "Oprah" was down 4% from the week before to a 5.4; "Dr. Phil" lost 12% to a 3.6. CBS' big magazine show "Entertainment Tonight" slipped 2% to 4.5, but continues as the dominant leader in the category. Its weekend show "Entertainment Tonight Weekend" shot up 14% to a 2.4 due to the assault story involving performers Chris Brown and Rihanna.

Syndication's big off-network shows did not participate in any gains, but they didn't lose ground, either. Warner Bros.' "Two and a Half Men," Twentieth's "Family Guy" and Sony Television Distribution's "Seinfeld" were all flat at 5.1, 4.1 and 3.8, respectively.

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