‘Oprah,’ ‘Maury’ up in syndie sweeps

King World’s “Oprah Winfrey Show” and Paramount’s “Maury Povich Show” stood out as the big syndicated winners in the week corresponding to the first few days of the February sweeps.

The reigning talkshow queen “Oprah” soared 18% to 10.6, while “Povich” rose 10% to 4.5 in the Nielsen national syndicated barter rankings for the week ended Feb. 6.

That contrasted with a number of five-day-a-week shows that headed south, remained flat or rose only slightly.

The two newest strips, King World’s “Rolonda” and Tribune’s “Can We Shop?,” both got off to weak starts in their first sweeps.

“Rolonda” tumbled 17% in her third week to 1.9 — the worst fall of any talker — last place among chatshows.

Trib’s new Joan Rivers home shopping series was marked down to 0.8 — 20% off her average a week earlier and 40% below her premiere numbers two weeks ago. Despite the fall-off in ratings, the syndicator insists the show is racking up larger sales than expected for stations.

Others losing steam were Viacom’s “Montel Williams” (down 8% to 3.4), Twentieth TV’s “Bertice Berry” (easing 4% to 2.5), Multimedia’s “Jerry Springer” (unwinding 4% to 2.2) and Group W’s “Vicki!” (deflating 3% to 2.9).

In the newsmag genre, Par’s “Hard Copy” was the only program to gain in the group during the week, rising 3% to 7.9 — nearly a full point ahead of Twentieth TV’s “A Current Affair,” which was relatively stable at a 7.0.

It was also the first time that “Copy” bested KW’s “Inside Edition,” which slipped 9% to 7.7. Meanwhile “Edition’s” freshman mate “American Journal” dipped 4% to 4.7.

Par’s “Entertainment Tonight” remained far ahead of the rest of the field despite a 2% drop to 8.9.

It was a wild week for weeklies.

The “Universal Action Pack,” which enjoyed a strong premiere with “TekWar,” fell 24% to 6.7 for the “Bandit” telepic. Its ratings were impacted by Super Bowl preemptions, counted in the two-week average for the movie.

Others also suffered. Cannell’s “Cobra” plunged 22% to 2.9, Par’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation” lost 18% to 9.7, and Cannell’s “Renegade” escaped with a 12 % rating loss as it fell to 5.3.

On the positive side, Rysher’s “Highlander” climbed 18% to 4.6, Par’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” trekked up 15% to 8.6, and All American TV’s “Baywatch” inched up 11% to 7.2.

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