CBS Television Distribution’s “Rachael Ray,” a mediocre ratings performer as syndicated talkshows go, last week was renewed through two more years, extending the program’s run through season eight.

The show, which was spun out of “Oprah” in 2006, has chugged along at a mid-1.0 rating throughout its run — well below its premiere frame, when its 2.3 national household rating average made it the top-rated new syndie talker since “Dr. Phil” bowed with a 4.4 in 2002.

In the week ended Jan. 1, “Rachael” hit a season-high 1.8 same-day national household rating, up 6% week to week and 13% better than the comparable week a year ago — the biggest improvement for any talker. For the season, “Rachael” ranks sixth among all talkshows.

In the November 2011 sweep, “Rachael” averaged a 1.7 household rating and 1.93 million viewers. That’s up 6% from last November in households and up 92,000 viewers. Among the key women 25-54 demographic, “Rachael” improved 22% from November 2010 to November 2011.

While the show sits in the middle of the talkshow pack, it has recently perked up, helping CTD make its case. It’s also advertiser-friendly and lends itself to plenty of product placement.

Moreover, the departure of Oprah Winfrey and the cancellation of two soaps — “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” — means that the ABC-owned stations are seeing more change than they have in years. Keeping “Rachael” on WABC New York and WPVI Philadelphia allows those two powerhouse affils to retain some stability on their daytime schedules.

Indeed, the two stations, two of the country’s strongest, are key to “Rachael’s” national clearance. On WABC, “Rachael” declined 14% from November sweep 2010 to November 2011 — from a 2.1 rating/8 share to a 1.8 rating/7 share — but that’s still a strong performer in New York at 10 a.m. On WPVI, “Rachael” was up significantly at 10 a.m., improving 25% from a 2.7/10 in November 2010 to a 3.4/12 in November 2011.