The ratings of many top syndie shows withered under the heat of Independence Day barbecues, according to the Nielsen national barter rankings for the week ended July 11.A majority of the shows decreased during the week of the holiday, with some left smoldering from major audience shifts. Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” talker cooked, serving up a 42% increase as it rose to 2.7 from its previous week’s mark of 1.9. It garnered the biggest percentage increase of any show and, in a rare occurrence, wound up ahead of Group W’s “Vicki!” (2.6). Paramount’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation” got burned worst of all, flaming out with an uncommon 24% drop to 8.9. Viacom’s “Montel Williams,” meanwhile, finished with a well-done 3.3 — a 22% improvement — while All American TV’s “Baywatch” relished its 18% leap to 5.2. Among other programs left with sizable gains and losses on their ratings plates were Par’s “Maury Povich,” up 11% to 4.1; Warner Bros.’ “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues,” down 10% to 4.4; Multimedia Entertainment’s “Donahue,” 10% higher to 5.7; Tribune Entertainment’s “Geraldo,” improving 9% to 4.7; and Columbia’s “Married … with Children,” sliding 8% to 6.7. King World trio gains King World had the only three shows in the top 10 that gained during the week , with “Wheel of Fortune,””Wheel” weekend and “Inside Edition” each expanding their waistlines a few notches. Par’s “Entertainment Tonight” finished flat. Trib’s “The Joan Rivers Show” dipped slightly to a 2.0 amid new rumors (Daily Variety, July 8) that she will scrap her syndicated talkshow format to start a home shopping program. According to published reports, Rivers will take a version of her popular QVC series into firstrun syndication this fall. The revamped show is said to have Barry Diller’s QVC, Trib and infomercial producer Regal Communications involved, with the latter company reportedly signing Rivers to a 30-year deal worth $ 13 million.
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