'Seinfeld' in 2nd slot while 'Raymond' drops to 3rd

Ratings for off-net broadcasts of “Friends” gave the syndie world a shot in the arm in the otherwise slow week of Aug. 1.

Laffer posted a new season high, improving on previous week’s figures by 27% to reach a 6.7 household ratings, according to Nielsen, thanks in part to a TBS cable marathon Aug. 7.

Show’s improvement rejiggered the usual ranking of sitcoms, making “Friends” No. 1 for the week and the second-rated show overall. “Seinfeld,” up 6% to a 5.6, was the No. 2 laffer. Usual front-runner “Everybody Loves Raymond” sank to third for the first time this season, down 4% to a 5.5.

Only talkshow to improve on previous week was “Starting Over,” in reruns, up 13% to a 0.9 and up 17% in women 18-49. “Oprah” tied a season low, down 4% to a 5.5. “Dr. Phil” came in at a 4.1, down 2%, and “Live With Regis and Kelly” was unchanged at 3.3.

Only two of the seven gavelers saw increases: “Judge Judy” rose 2% to a 4.6 and “Judge Hatchett” was up 6% to a 1.7. Four other courtshows dropped percentage points in the mid-single digits, and “Judge Mathis” remained unchanged at 2.4.

Newsmags fared a bit better, with three of the five improving slightly. “Entertainment Tonight” was up 2% to 4.2, “The Insider” up 4% to 2.4 and “Extra” up 5% to a 2.1. “Inside Edition” held steady at 2.9, and “Access Hollywood” dipped to a 2.1, down 5%.

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