A rating point can be expensive during the November sweeps.

Just ask Twentieth TV’s “A Current Affair,” whose reported $ 500,000 payment for an interview with the Buttafuocos netted the show a 0.4 point increase to 7. 2 during the week ended Nov. 21. At that rate, a full rating point would be worth $ 1.25 million.

Despite the 6% week-to-week gain, “Affair” still tumbled 9% from its year-ago Buttafuoco-free mark of 7.9, according to the Nielsen national syndication barter rankings for the second full week corresponding to the November sweeps. The report was postponed because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Paramount’s “Hard Copy,” meanwhile, posted a 23% year-to-year increase to an all-time high mark of 6.9 from 5.6.

King World’s “Inside Edition” was off 3% to 7.5 from a year ago, but flat compared to the previous week, when it reportedly paid more than $ 200,000 for a multipart interview with convicted “Son of Sam” killer David Berkowitz.

Par’s newsmag champ “Entertainment Tonight” showed some year-to-year erosion in the week, declining 5% to 8.8 from 9.3.

Further down the chart, King World’s frosh series “American Journal” had a healthy week, posting a 13% gain to 4.5 from 4.0.

Among off-net shows, Twentieth TV’s “Cops” ticked up a notch to a record-breaking 5.8.

Overall, the strongest year-to-year performers were Group W’s “Vicki!,” which lurched ahead 32% to 2.9 from last year’s 2.2; Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones,” soaring 32% to 2.5 from 1.9; and Multimedia Entertainment’s “Rush Limbaugh,” bloating up 26% to 3.9 from 3.1.

And on the off-net side, MGM’s “In the Heat of the Night” warmed up as it gained 21% to 3.4 from 2.8.

Among the new talkshows, KW’s “Les Brown,” which has been put on hiatus while the syndicator explores its options, gained 5% to 2.3 from last week’s 2.2.

The biggest loser in the group was this season’s best-performing new talker, Columbia’s “Ricki Lake,” which had an off week with a 14% fall to 2.4 from 2.8.

Twentieth TV’s “Bertice Berry” also suffered a loss, dipping 4% to 2.3 from 2 .4.

Turning to the weeklies, All American TV’s “Baywatch,” now in its third season in firstrun syndication, saw a 10% week-to-week gain translate into a bouncy 38% year-to-year tidal wave. The show leaped to a record 7.6 from its year-ago mark of 5.5.

Rysher TPE’s “Highlander” soared 17% year-to-year, climbing to 4.1 from 3.5, while Cannell’s “Renegade” jumped 13% to 5.1 from 4.5.

The best gain among all new weeklies went to the just-canceled Buena Vista TV series “Countdown at the Neon Armadillo,” which clawed its way up 12% to 3.7 from 3.3.

Worst plunge in syndication during the week went to Rysher TPE’s “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous,” which fell an extravagant 42% from last year’s high-flying 4.3 to this week’s 2.5.

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