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‘Ray’ leaves rivals with leftovers

Daytime preemptions, breakouts leaves nets with smaller averages

Ratings for most syndicated shows were little changed in the week ended Oct. 29, the last frame before sweeps, as many shows focused on preparing ratings-grabbing gimmicks for the period.

Driving some numbers lower were three World Series games and the president’s Oct. 25 Iraq speech, which caused numerous daytime preemptions and breakouts, leaving some strips with only four-day averages.

Among the newcomers to national syndication, “Geraldo at Large” was one of the few registering higher than a 1 rating, gaining 7% to a 1.6. “Geraldo” was second only to “The Rachael Ray Show.” The rookie champion talker for a sixth straight week, “Ray” maintained a huge lead over other freshman talkers despite dipping 5% to a 2.0.

“The Dr. Keith Ablow Show” was a distant second among talk newcomers, dropping 9% to a 1.0, while “The Greg Behrendt Show” took over sole possession of third place with a 0.9, up 13%. “The Megan Mullally Show” was flat in fourth place with a 0.8.

None of the nine vet yakkers were up year to year.

Top talker “The Oprah Winfrey Show” averaged a 6.9, up 3% for week but down 4% from last year. “The Jerry Springer Show,” in sixth place, pulled ahead of “The Montel Williams Show” for the first time this season. “Springer” was flat week to week with a 1.7, while “Williams” was down 11% for the week to a 1.6.

New gavelers “Cristina’s Court” and “Judge Maria Lopez” averaged a 1.4 and 1.0, respectively. “Cristina” was flat, while “Lopez” was up 11%.

The only veteran courtshow up year to year was “The Judge Mathis Show,” up 9% to a season high of 2.5.

Top gaveler “Judge Judy” was up 2% to a season high of 4.6, but flat year to year.

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