‘Trek,’ ‘Wheel’ tie in syndie ratings

The Thanksgiving holiday chewed up averages for most syndicated strips during the Nov. 23-29 week for national Nielsen standings, allowing “Star Trek: The Next Generation” to tie “Wheel of Fortune” as the week’s highest-rated show.

That marked the first time “Trek” has topped the standings since the week of Oct. 19, as nearly all syndicated strips were down compared to the prior week, despite excluding Thanksgiving Day from their averages.

‘Hall’ improves

Among the few exceptions was Paramount’s late night strip “The Arsenio Hall Show,” which improved by 10% to post a 3.2 rating, the same as one the better-performing new strips of the season, Multimedia’s “Rush Limbaugh.” Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones Show” also jumped up to a 2.3 rating, its best showing since last March.

Carsey-Werner’s “You Bet Your Life” (4.8) remained shaky during the Thanksgiving week–which includes the final three days of the Nielsen November sweeps–and could face additional time-period downgrading across the country.

“The Maury Povich Show,” meanwhile, delivered a 4.4 rating, a tenth behind “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee”–which continues to perform extremely well in morning slots–and “Maury’s” average for the November sweeps.

Paramount announced yesterday that “Maury” will get a new outlet in Chicago, the U.S.’ third-largest TV market, beginning Jan. 4, shifting to a 1 p.m. berth on Tribune-owned independent WGN from CBS O&O WBBM-TV, which had planned to downgrade the show.

Par, WB pix do well

Movie networks from Paramount and Warner Bros. also placed prominently in the ratings, ranking sixth and 10th, respectively, among all syndicated programs.

Among the shows hardest hit by the holiday week were “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (down 24%) and off-network airings of “The Wonder Years” (3.9, down 15%). Disney’s “Goof Troop” and “Darkwing Duck” were tops among children’s strips (excluding Fox Children’s Network fare), while Turner Program Services topped weekly kidvid fare with “Captain Planet.”

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