Syndie ratings flat but ‘Affair’ and ‘Hard’ up

Holiday shopping apparently took precedence over TV during the week ended Dec. 13, when most of the highest-ranked shows in the Nielsen national syndication barter rankings declined or remained flat.

Only two series in the top 10 climbed during the week: Twentieth TV’s “A Current Affair” inched up 1% to a 7.9–tying its season high–and King World’s “Inside Edition” gained 8% to a 7.7.

The “Affair” win marked the fourth consecutive week that it beat “Edition,” making it 12 out of 14 victories this season.

The gap between the two programs has narrowed, however. “Affair” has a 7.4 season-to-date household rating while “Edition” is at a 7.1.

With “Edition” about to lose its early fringe berth on WCBS-TV in New York, “Affair” should put more distance between them.

Other week-to-week gainers during the week included Group W Prods.’ “Vicki!” which rose 16% to a 2.2; Paramount’s “The Maury Povich Show,” rebounding 13% to a 4.5; Genesis Entertainment’s “the Whoopi Goldberg Show,” up 11% to a 2.0; Multimedia Entertainment’s “Sally Jessy Raphael,” adding 10% to a 5.6, and Twentieth TV’s “Studs,” which moved up 8% to a 2.6.

Shows losing audience during the week included Viacom Enterprises’ “The Montel Williams Show,” sliding 11% to a 2.4; Warner Bros.’ “The Jenny Jones Show ,” dipping 5% to a 1.9 and Par’s “Hard Copy,” losing 3% to a 5.6.

Multimedia’s “Donahue” (6.1) and Tribune Entertainment’s “Geraldo” (4.4) each shed 2% off their previous week’s ratings.

Among other closely watched syndie offerings, Viacom’s off-net sitcom “Roseanne” backed off 1% to a 7.2 while Columbia Pictures Television Distribution’s “Designing Women” eased 2% to a 6.4.

Carsey-Werner Distribution’s recently canceled “You Bet Your Life” dipped 2% to a 4.7.

Turner Program Services’ off-net comedy “The Wonder Years” (4.5) and Par’s “The Arsenio Hall Show” (2.9) were flat for the week.

Multimedia’s “Rush Limbaugh” added 3% to a 3.3 and MGM’s off-net hour “In the Heat of the Night” warmed 7% to a 3.0.

Multimedia’s “Jerry Springer” and Trib’s “The Joan Rivers Show” each added a tenth to a 1.9.

Back in the pack on the endangered species list were Group W’s “That’s Amore, ” unchanged at a 1.2, and Genesis’ “Infatuation,” which attracted a not-so-enchanting 1.1.

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