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‘Oprah,’ ‘ET’ dominate syndie sweep

Most shows down from last May

Despite slight year-to-year declines, long-running favorites “Oprah,” “Entertainment Tonight” and “Wheel of Fortune” continued to dominate their respective genres during the May sweep (April 27-May 24).

Most syndicated shows were down from last May as total broadcast viewing dropped by 2.27 million households, or 12%, from one year ago.

Among the talkshows, “Oprah” held its lead with a 7.1 average, although the show suffered 11% erosion from last May. “Dr. Phil” averaged a 5.5, down 5% from last year. “Live With Regis and Kelly” drew a 3.3, down 6%. “Maury,” which got hit with a $100 million sexual harassment lawsuit the same week that the sweep began, dropped 13% to a 2.6.

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was the only veteran talker to see ratings growth over last year, up 10% to a 2.3.

“Montel Williams” tumbled 17% to a 2.0, while “Jerry Springer” dropped 18% to a 1.8. “Starting Over,” which held steady at a 1.1, was the only established talker besides “Ellen” to avoid a year-to-year decline. “The Tony Danza Show” sank 23% to a 1.0 and was cancelled.

In rookie talker action, “The Tyra Banks Show” fashioned a dramatic ratings increase, surging 55% since the skein’s September debut to a 1.7, while “The Martha Stewart Show” averaged a 1.5, down 25% from its debut.

As expected, none of the four entertainment magazine shows were up from last May, although the mags collectively saw the smallest decline of any genre in syndication.

“Entertainment Tonight,” which dipped 4% to a 4.9, easily won its 63rd sweep in a row and has now been the No. 1 mag show in every ratings period for 15 years.

“The Insider” drew a 2.6, off 4%, while “Access Hollywood” was next in line with a 2.5, down 4%. “Extra” went unchanged at a 2.2.

Although not strictly a entertainment magazine show, “Inside Edition” was No. 2 with a 3.4, up 3%.

“Geraldo at Large,” still not nationally rated, again underperformed both its lead-in and year-earlier time periods in its 39 metered markets. (Those year-earlier time periods were occupied by “A Current Affair” in all of the top five markets.) “Geraldo” averaged a 2.3/5 for its primary runs, down 23% from its 3.0/6 lead-in average and down 4% from its 2.4/5 time period average.

“Judge Judy” held on to the courtshow lead with a 4.6, although it was down 4% from last May. “Judge Joe Brown” was down 9% to a 3.0, followed by “People’s Court” with a 2.7, unchanged year to year. “Divorce Court” (2.6) was down 7%, while “Judge Mathis” (2.3) was down 8% and “Judge Hatchett” (1.7) was flat.

Rookie gaveler “Judge Alex” averaged a 2.1, unchanged from its debut rating in September.

Among gameshows, “Wheel of Fortune” continued to rule with a 7.8, down 5% from last year, while “Jeopardy” dropped 14% to a 6.4, followed by “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which saw the smallest percentage decline, off 3% to a 3.2.

“Family Feud” eased 5% to a 2.0.

Elsewhere in latenight, the two remaining relationship shows continued to struggle. “Blind Date” was flat at a 1.1, while “ElimiDate” was down 18% to a 0.9.

In off-net action, “Everybody Loves Raymond” was on top with a 5.5, down 14% from last May, while “Seinfeld” (5.2) was off 10% and “Friends” (4.5) was down 13%.

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