‘Live’ rides Ripa current

Most syndies enjoying hikes in viewer numbers

Syndie auds lined up to see Kelly Ripa’s return to “Live! With Regis & Kelly” after her multi-week maternity leave.

“Live!’s” ratings improved 21% week-to-week to a 4.1 national household rating during the week ending July 22, according to Nielsen.

Perf is the show’s best in 17 weeks and reps a 14% boost compared to the same week last year, which was one of the final weeks of Kathie Lee Gifford’s in the seat now occupied by Ripa.

The only talker to gain a higher week-to-week percentage boost was “Montel Williams,” which came off a week of heavy preemptions. “Montel” moved up 26% to a 2.9.

The week was generally good to talkers, with nine of the 10 returning this fall posting week-to-week improvements.

“Oprah” led the batch, moving up 4% to 5.9, and was followed by “Live!”

“Jerry Springer” and “Maury” tied for third, moving in tandem, up 6% to 3.6.

Next came “Montel,” followed by “Ricki Lake,” up 14% to 2.5, and “Jenny Jones,” up 9% to 2.4.

“Rosie O’Donnell” moved up 10% to 2.3, “Sally” dipped 5% to 2.1, and “Martha Stewart Living” was up 15% to 1.5.

Gavelers, hour-longs up

Elsewhere in syndication for the week, most shows fared well. Six of the seven surviving vet gavelers posted week-to-week gains, and all of the top four weekly hours — “Entertainment Tonight Weekend,” “X-Files,” “ER” and “Stargate SG-1” — posted weekly gains.

“Power of Attorney” moved up 19% to a 1.9 to lead the rookie firstrun strips, and “Judge Hatchett” moved up 6% to 1.8.

“Street Smarts,” up 6%, and “To Tell the Truth,” down 6%, both earned a 1.7.

In the world of relationships, “Blind Date” was even at 2.3, and “Change of Heart” was up 6% to 1.9.