‘Ricki’ & ‘Rush’ hot in sweeps

“Hard Copy,””The Ricki Lake Show,””Jenny Jones,””Rush Limbaugh,””Family Matters” and “Full House” came out of the November sweeps strong.

But a Petry National Television analysis of the November book indicates that some other syndicated shows, including Twentieth TV’s “Bertice Berry,” Buena Vista Television’s “The Crusaders” and MCA TV’s “Coach,” suffered from poor performances and will have to show some drastic improvement in the upcoming February local market measurement period.

Among the newsmags — the most expensive syndicated shows to mount — the race was tight.

Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” closed out the sweeps as the newsmag leader once again, but it fell to an 8.5 rating/15 share from 9.0/16 a year ago.

In access, where the magazine is primarily cleared, “E.T.” averaged an 8.8/15 . That is slightly ahead of Par’s sister strip “Hard Copy,” which was close behind with an 8.6/15 in roughly 40% ofthe country.

Overall, “Copy” copped a 6.6/15, up from a 6.2/14 the previous year. The program showed the most growth with women 25-54, rising 2 shares.

King World’s “Inside Edition” fell to 6.8/18 from 7.5/20, losing 2 to 3 points in all key demographic groups. The newsmag, which appears in access in roughly the same number of markets as “Copy,” trailed the Par show with an 8.4/ 17.

Twentieth TV’s “A Current Affair” posted some much-needed growth during the November book, rising 5% to 6.7 from a 6.4. The show also achieved across-the-board demo increases.

In access, however, it pulled up the rear, ticking up a notch in 77 markets to 8.3/15. Its biggest demo growth in access came in women 25-54, where it rose 2 share points.

‘Journal,’ ‘Crusaders’ slow

KW’s new newsmag “American Journal” got off to a slow start, falling to a 4.5 /13 from a 5.3/15 a year earlier and off 2-5 shares in the key demos. The series scored a 6.5/11 in access.

The weekly newsmag series “The Crusaders” (3.1/10), which is being considered as a strip, underperformed its year-ago time period average in its first sweeps book.

The program, which finished down about half a rating point and 1 share in the household standings, showed slight growth in women 18-34 but was down in all other key demo groups from the previous year.

Another program that will need to see some big improvement in February is “Bertice Berry” (1.9/8), which finished the November sweeps down a dramatic 37% in rating and 43% in share from the year-ago time period average mark of 3.0/14. “Bertice” dropped 6 shares year-to-year in all key women groups. Twentieth, however, insists that it is sticking with the show.

In fact, King World’s canceled “Les Brown Show” had higher numbers than “Bertice,” earning a 2.7/12. That is down 36% in rating and 33% in share from the year-ago time period average of a 4.2/18.

‘Ricki’ isn’t losing numbers

Although “Les” had a better household average, Columbia’s “Ricki Lake Show” ( 2.5/9) is deemed to be the only big frosh talkshow success of the year because it built on its year-ago time period average (2.4/9) and was up in all key women demo categories.

The show jumped a striking 1.5/7 with the 18-34 group, 1.0/4 with the 18-49 demo and 0.6/2 with women 25-54.

Among the returning daytime and early fringe chat pack, KW’s “Oprah Winfrey” declined slightly to an 11.1/35 from 11.5/34 the previous November, but boosted her performance by 2 shares in all key women demos.

The biggest year-to-year winners were Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones,” which soared 29% in rating and 22% in share to 2.7/11 as well as posting a 7 share rise among women 18-34; Viacom’s “Montel Williams,” up 1 share in household rating and 4 shares in women 18-34 and 18-49; and — ironically — WB’s canceled “Jane Whitney Show,” which is headed for NBC’s daytime sked.

That program grew 21% in rating and 11% in share to 2.3/10, while climbing 2 shares in women 18-34.

Multimedia’s “Jerry Springer” showed a little spring during the sweeps, inching up to 2.4/12 and climbing 2 shares in women 18-34 and 1 share with women 25-54.

Stunted talk

Talkshows showing little or no growth year-to-year included Tribune’s “Geraldo” (3.9/15), which lost 1 share among women 18-49 and 25-54; Group W’s “Vicki!” (3.0/15), which fell 1 share in women 18-49; and Paramount’s “Maury Povich” (4.6/19). Multimedia’s “Donahue” continued its downward spiral, slipping 15% in rating and 13% in share to 5.2/20. The program dropped 5 shares among women 18-34. The syndicator’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” (4.8/20) dropped slightly year-to-year in household rating, but fell 2 to 3 shares in the women groups.

Limbaugh tops Arsenio

In late night, Multimedia’s “Rush Limbaugh” continued to experience ratings bloat, jumping 23% in rating and 31% in share to 2.7/17. It also grew in all demo categories. “Rush” (2.4/19) outdrew Paramount’s “Arsenio Hall” (1.9/11) in late fringe.

“Arsenio,” which endured downgrades on Fox and CBS affiliates over the past year, slipped a few tenths from a 2.1/11 a year ago. The show, however, grew 2 shares in women 18-34.

‘Wheel’ keeps spinning

Turning to gameshows, KW’s top-rated “Wheel of Fortune” suffered some year-to-year erosion, slipping 5% to a 15.6 rating from a 16.4 the previous year. The program also fell half a point in all key demo groups.

Still, in access (which includes most of its clearances), “Wheel” is a killer with a blood-curdling 16.8/32 average.

KW’s companion “Jeopardy!” experienced a similar decline, sinking 6% to 12.9 from last year’s 13.7. It also lost about half a point in all the important demo groups.

Of this season’s new off-net sitcoms, “Coach” (4.5/10) got off to a disappointing start, falling 18% in rating and 23% in share over its November ‘ 92 time period average.

WB’s new entry “Family Matters” (3.7/8) boosted its time period average by 19 % in rating and 14% in share. The show appears to be doing best with women and teens.

Among the returning crop, Viacom’s powerhouse “Roseanne” chalked up some weighty gains, rising 9% over last November to 7.2/15 and showing impressive growth in all key age groups. In access, which account for about 60% of its clearances, the off-net sitcom scored a corpulent 7.8/15.

The WB teen juggernaut “Full House” continued to pack ’em in during the November sweeps, rising to 6.5/13 from 6.1/12 a year ago. The comedy also boosted its performance among teens 12-17 by 1.2/4 to an impressive 10.3/36.

Par’s “Cheers” started showing signs of age, falling 1.1./2 to 5.8/16 and losing ground in all key demo categories.

In the reality realm, Twentieth TV’s off-Fox series “Cops” cuffed a 5.3/12, about even with its year-ago time period mark, but up 4-5 shares in the key men demo groups. The series posted a 6.0/12 in access.

‘Rescue’ growth

MTM’s “Rescue 911” (3.9/10) finished about a half a point under its year-ago time period average, but showed across-the-board demo growth.

Genesis’ “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol” (2.8/9) pulled away with a 12% increase in ratings and share, and boosted the share of men by 3 to 4 points over the previous year. In access, “Patrol” hauled in a 4.0/6.

Syndicated off-net dramas performed well during the sweeps. MGM’s off-net drama “In the Heat of the Night,” cleared in about 92% of the country, rose nearly half a rating point over last year to 3.1/12. The show performed best with older women, increasing its viewership slightly in the category.

Viacom’s “Matlock,” meanwhile, also jumped half a point to 3.3/12 over November ’92 in about 55% of the U.S. Once again, the biggest increases came with older women viewers and, among those 55-plus, the show jumped 1.2 rating points.

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