King pair spins big syndie gains

King World juggernauts “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!,” Viacom’s meaty off-net sitcom “Roseanne” and Multimedia Entertainment’s rotund right-winger “Rush Limbaugh” kicked off the November sweeps with huge year-to-year gains.

But a number of syndicated shows faltered in the Nielsen national barter rankings ended Nov. 14, the first full week corresponding to the all-important local market sweeps period.

Top-ranked “Wheel” rolled up an 8% gain to 15.6 from 14.4, while its companion “Jeopardy!” jumped 15% to 14.3 from 12.4.

On the other side of the equation, just-canceled Warner Bros. strip “Love Connection” dropped 27% to 3.0 from 4.1, while All American TV’s “Family Feud” slipped 12% to 2.3 from 2.6.

On the off-net front, the biggest gainer was “Roseanne,” which leaped 22% to an 8.3 from its year-ago mark of 6.8.

It was followed by MGM’s off-net drama “In the Heat of the Night,” which rose 10% to 3.2 from 2.9.

The frosh off-Fox reality series “Cops,” meanwhile, reached an all-time high with a 5.7, following a 6% week-to-week gain.

Without counting the already failed “Joan Rivers Show,” which plunged 40% year-to-year, the worst syndie collapse came for Turner’s off-net “TheWonder Years.” It dived 37% to 2.7 from 4.3 during the corresponding sweeps week a year ago.

Columbia’s “Designing Women” turned in the second worst off-net performance, sinking 23% to 5.3 from last year’s 6.9.

Another off-net Col staple, “Married … with Children,” took the bronze with a 17% loss to 7.0 from 8.4.

The only firstrun newsmag to show any year-to-year growth was Paramount’s “Hard Copy,” with the toned-down tabloid entry adding 13% to 6.8 (tying Twentieth TV’s “A Current Affair” again) from last year’s 6.0.

“Affair” turned in the worst year-to-year newsmag performance, sinking 13% to 6.8 from 7.8.

KW’s “Inside Edition” slipped 6% to 7.5 from 8.0, while the Par leader “Entertainment Tonight” dipped 5% to 8.7 from 9.2.

This season’s new reality entrant, KW’s “American Journal,” was flat with a 4 .0 during the week.

The flood of daytime and early fringe talkshows appeared to be taking its toll on the leaders in the genre.

KW’s top-ranked “Oprah Winfrey” eased 3% to 11.3 from 11.7 a year ago; Multimedia’s “Donahue” was the biggest loser, tumbling 21% to 5.2 from 6.6. It tied with Multimedia companion “Sally Jessy Raphael,” off 5% from last year’s 5. 5.

Paramount’s “Maury Povich” lost 4% to 4.6 from 4.8, but the mark was still good enough for a season high. Tribune’s “Geraldo” dipped 2% to 4.4 from 4.5, but scored the biggest week-to-week increase of any strip in syndication with a 22% gain to 4.4 from 3.6.

WB’s “Jenny Jones” had the best year-to-year increase during the week of any gabber, rising 39% to 2.5 from 1.8, while Viacom’s “Montel Williams” moved up 19 % to 3.2 from 2.7.

Group’s “Vicki!” (2.9) and Multimedia’s “Jerry Springer” (2.2) both added 16% from the same week last November.

In late night, Par’s “Arsenio Hall Show”– the victim of downgrades on several Fox affils that made room for the short-lived “Chevy Chase Show”– plummeted 21% to 2.2 from a 2.8 a year ago. “Rush,” on the other hand, gained 21 % to 4.0 from 3.3.

Among weeklies, Rysher TPE’s “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” suffered the biggest year-to-year decline, sinking 26% to 2.9 from 3.9.

Cannell’s action hour “Renegade” fell 18% to 4.7 from 5.7, while Par’s stellar “Star Trek: The Next Generation” dropped 14% to 11.6 from 13.5 and Rysher TPE’s “Highlander” slid 12% to 3.8 from 4.3.

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