'TMZ' leads syndie parade


"TMZ" and "The Steve Wilkos Show" fared the best among the five new first-run syndicated shows that debuted Monday.

"TMZ" had the highest debut with a weighted average of a 2.0 household rating/4 share in 55 metered markets, according to Nielsen Media Research.

However, the half-hour entertainment newsmagazine, co-created and hosted by Harvey Levin, was down 17% from its lead-in average (2.4/5) and off 9% from the September 2006 time period average (2.2/4). "TMZ" airs in primarily access, early fringe and late-fringe time periods.

Hourlong talker "Steve Wilkos," which airs in daytime slots, averaged a 1.1/4 in 48 metered markets. That's a 22% increase over its lead-in average (0.9/3) and even with its year-ago time period average. "Wilkos" was the only one of the new strips to grow over its lead-in average. (It also should be noted that the talker was pre-empted in Chicago, where the show originates, because of a Chicago Cubs game telecast.)

Elsewhere, "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" averaged a 1.0/3 in 52 metered markets, off 17% from its lead-in average (1.2/3) and down 23% from September 2006 (1.3/4). The half-hour game show mostly is cleared in afternoon slots.

Court show "Judge David Young," which airs mostly in daytime, drew a 0.9/3 in 51 markets, flat with its lead-in average and down 10% from a year ago (1.0/3).

Another half-hour game show, "Temptation," averaged a 0.7/2 in 45 markets, down 13% from its lead-in average (0.8/3) and off 36% from a year ago (1.1/3).

None of the shows fared as well on their premiere day as last year's top-rated first-run strip, "Rachael Ray," which averaged a 2.8/9 in 55 metered markets in its September 2006 debut.

Two new off-net comedies also made their broadcast syndicated debut Monday. "Two and a Half Men" averaged a 2.0/4 in 55 metered markets, on par with its lead-in and down 13% from a year ago (2.3/4). The animated "Family Guy" averaged a 1.9/4 in 54 markets, also on par with its lead-in but down 5% from September 2006 (2.0/4).