Martha, Tyra cook up so-so ratings

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Martha Stewart, Tyra Banks, and Judge Alex Ferrer toughed out their first week in syndication with steady, if not spectacular, ratings deliveries.

Meanwhile, returning talker Dr. Phil is generating even higher Nielsen numbers after moving to new stations in the key markets of Los Angeles and Chicago.

The massively publicized Martha averaged a 2.2 rating/7 share in the top 53 "metered" markets in the week ended September 18 after debuting September 12 with a 2.4/8 and falling off a bit midweek (to a 2.1/7 on Wednesday and Thursday) and rebounding slightly Friday (2.2/7), according to Nielsen Media Research.

However, the show suffered a 21 percent drop Monday to a 1.9/6 when comparing the same day last week. One likely reason for the drop could be that Martha in several markets--including Los Angeles--airs opposite The Oprah Winfrey Show, which had its premiere Monday with an episode that featured an interview with Jennifer Aniston.

Meanwhile, The Tyra Banks Show ended last week and started this week with its highest rating to date (Friday and Monday tied at a 1.4/4). That's up 8 percent from its September 12 debut of a 1.3/4, which was also the average of its first week.

Judge Alex averaged a 1.9/6 during its first week on the air, after debuting September 12 with a 2.0/6.

Dr. Phil, which kicked off its fourth season September 12, saw improvement in two top markets where it began airing this season for the first time. The talker switched from NBC-owned KNBC-TV to CBS-owned KCBS-TV in Los Angeles (both 4 p.m. slots) and from NBC's WMAQ-TV to CBS' WBBM-TV in Chicago (moving from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.).

On KCBS, Dr. Phil averaged a 4.3/10 on Monday, which is up 16 percent from its 3.7/9 from the same day a year ago. On WBBM, the 3.7/9 average for Monday was up 37 percent over the same day last year (2.7/8). Overall, the talker averaged a 4.8/12 in the top markets during its first week on the air.

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