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‘Ellen’ talks the talk as syndies hiccup

Winfrey, Dr. Phil take a tumble

NEW YORK — Syndie national ratings slipped a bit during the week of Dec. 13-19 as viewing was down by an average of 2% week-to-week, and only five of the top 25 strips improved.

The major bright spot was “Ellen,” which improved 9% to 2.4, its best weekly rating to date. Yakker was up 50% from last year during the same week.

Among rookies, “The Insider” (2.6), “Jane Pauley” (1.4) and “Ambush Makeover” (0.9) each dipped a tenth of a point, while “Tony Danza” (1.3), “Larry Elder” (0.9), “Pat Croce” (0.7) and “Life & Style” (0.5) were all unchanged.

“Oprah Winfrey” fell 8% to a new season low of 6.6, and “Dr. Phil” slipped a tenth to 5.1. But the next three yakkers — “Live with Regis and Kelly” (3.6), “Maury” (3.0) and “Montel Williams” (2.5) — were all up.

Top gameshows “Wheel of Fortune” (8.9) and “Jeopardy” (7.6) were down. “Entertainment Tonight” was the only newsmag to improve, up a tick to 5.2. None of the top 10 off-net strips improved, and neither did any of the court shows.

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