*Michael Strahan just may be the MVP of syndicated talk shows.

“Live! With Kelly and Michael” skyrocketed to a 2.8 rating in total households, edging out “Dr. Phil” for the first time this season.

That means about 3.6 million people viewed “Live!” during the week of Dec. 16 to Dec. 23, while 3.5 million watched “Dr. Phil,” which had been No. 1 among talk shows since the season began 13 weeks ago.

According to national syndicated ratings released Friday, “Live!” also bested “Dr. Phil” in the key 25 to 54 year old female demographic. “Live!” had a 1.6 rating compared to a 1.4 for “Dr. Phil” and “Ellen.”

“Live!’s” big pre-Christmas rush was an 8 percent improvement over the prior week, and tied the Disney-distributed show’s highest rating since early September when Michael Strahan was announced as Kelly Ripa’s new co-host, replacing Regis Philbin.

Meanwhile, “Maury” was the top talk show among women 18 to 49 with a 1.6 rating and had a 2.4 rating in total households, which was up 9 percent from the prior week.

“Dr. Oz” fell 4 percent from the prior week to a 2.3 household rating. “Rachel Ray,” which had Philbin as her guest for an entire episode during the week, saw ratings rise 14 percent to a 1.6.

“Dr. Phil” aired repeats during the period, and shows meant to help people cope with the Sandy Hook school massacre.

“Ellen” was down 7 percent for the week to a 2.7 rating, but was up 29 percent from its ratings a year earlier. It topped all talk shows in total viewers with 3.67 million tuning in.

Among first season talkers, “Katie” held steady with a 1.8 household rating, while “Steve Harvey” had a 1.4, the same as the prior week as well. “Ricki Lake” was up 17 percent to a 0.7 rating while “Jeff Probst” held steady at 0.7 as well.

“TMZ” was the only entertainment magazine show to grow from the prior week, up 5 percent to 2.0. that matched its season high and was a 5 percent improvement over the prior year.

“Entertainment Tonight,” as usual, led the magazines with a 3.6 rating, but that was down 8 percent from the prior week. However it was up 3 percent from one year earlier.