June swoon hits syndie Nielsen race

Summer vacation doldrums were apparent in Nielsen national syndication rankings for the week of June 14-20, with most talkshows and access magazines exhibiting ratings declines.

Among the few weekly hours to show improvement vs. the prior week were Paramount’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” which surged 20% over its average audience, as well as modest gains for “The Untouchables” (5.1, up 4%), Warner Bros.’ “Time Trax” (4.5, up 5%) and Rysher TPE’s “Highlander” (4.0, up a tenth). Such syndicated fare may have an opportunity for sampling during the summer against a spate of network reruns.

Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” continued to lead the pack among magazine strips, though “ET,””Hard Copy” and “Inside Edition” all fell slightly off their performance of the prior week. Twentieth’s “A Current Affair” improved slightly over the previous week, which represented its lowest rating ever.

Looking to late night and the morning, numbers for “Rush Limbaugh” (3.5) were 8% less than the prior frame, “Jane Whitney” (1.5) slipped marginally and “The Arsenio Hall Show” (2.6) took a small leap. Buena Vista’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” (4.0) also surged back to normal levels after a dip a week earlier, while Group W’s “Vicki!” also showed some signs of life, jumping 0.2 to a 2.5 rating.

Oft-repeated children’s series continued to post relatively modest numbers, with Buena Vista’s “Goof Troop” leading the pack among weekday strips with children age 2-11, followed by the Fox Children’s Network’s “Tiny Toons” and “Batman.” As usual, Disney and FCN each accounted for a quartet of the top eight shows by that standard.

“Married … With Children” and “Roseanne” continued to lead off-network comedies with a barter advertising element. Among the big gainers in the off-net area was “In the Heat of the Night,” with the Turner-distributed hour jumping 21 % to a 3.5 rating.

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