It was a generally sluggish week for syndicated fare, according to Nielsen national syndication barter rankings for the period ending March 21.

Paramount’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” enjoyed the heartiest returns among first-run action hours, gaining 25% with an original episode, surpassing distrib’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which dropped 20% on a repeat.

Other action entries losing ground were Warner Bros. “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues” (dropping 15%), Par’s “Untouchables” (down 3%) and WB’s “Time Trax” (minus 2% to 5.5).

King World’s “Inside Edition” (off 6%) showed the biggest percentage falloff among the tabloid magazine shows, while Twentieth’s “A Current Affair” decreased 5% and Par’s “Hard Copy” dipped 3%.

Reg on the rebound

On a happier note, Buena Vista’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” rebounded from a 17% drop the prior week with a 26% gain (4.9), while Par’s “Maury Povich” (4.8) reversed its 14% loss of the prior round. Columbia’s educational kid-show “Beakman’s World”– bound for a network berth next season — also soared to a 4. 0, a 25% jump.

In latenight talk action, Multimedia’s “Rush Limbaugh” lost 11% (3.6), its second consecutive losing week, while Par’s “Arsenio Hall Show” (2.4) dipped 4% and Genesis’ “The Whoopi Goldberg Show” decreased 6% to 1.6.

Among animated shows, weekday airings of WB’s Fox Children’s Network series “Batman” reached a record-high 8.2 with kids 2-11 (up 4%), followed by Buena Vista’s syndicated “Goof Troop” (7.5, up 15%), while WB/Fox’s “Tiny Toon Adventures” (a season high 7.1, up 1%), was third.

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