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Talkers begin year with drop

The pack of syndicated talkshows came tumbling back to earth in the first full week of the new year, while Paramount’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” once again blasted into a high ratings orbit.

According to the Nielsen national barter rankings for the week ended Jan. 9, only three of the first-tier talkers gained after nearly the entire group shot up in the previous ratings report.

King World champ “Oprah Winfrey” added 12% to 11.5, Tribune’s “Geraldo” jumped 10% to 4.3 and Buena Vista TV’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” bounced back 2% to 5.0.

‘Berry’ slides

Twentieth TV’s “Bertice Berry” endured the worst loss of any chatshow, sinking 17% to 2.4, a notch ahead of KW’s canceled “Les Brown Show” at 2.3. Columbia’s frosh champ “Ricki Lake” dropped slightly to 3.4.

Among the returning shows, Group W’s “Vicki!” lost 11% to 3.2, Multimedia’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” dived 10% to 5.6 while companion “Donahue” dropped 9% to 6 .1.

Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” faded 7% to 3.0, Multimedia’s “Jerry Springer” slid 7% to 2.5 and WB’s “Jane Whitney”– jumping from syndication to NBC’s daytime sked — walked away with a 5% loss to 2.0.

Par’s “Maury Povich Show” had the smallest decline, down 2% to 4.8.

Rush rallies

In latenight, Multimedia’s “Rush Limbaugh” gained a rotund 13% to 3.6 while Par’s “Arsenio” stayed even at 2.4.

Among other strips, Twentieth TV’s off-Fox series “Cops” took a doughnut break as it eased two-tenths to 5.9 after reaching a record high the previous week. And Genesis’ “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol” was flat with 3.7.

Sci-fi series “Deep Space Nine” came through the worm hole with an 18% gain to 9.3, the top percentage gain among the top 10 shows. The previous week, the series came out of its holiday depression with a 23% gain to 7.9.

Par’s mother ship “Star Trek: The Next Generation” improved during the week, up 9% to 8.7.

KW’s “Wheel of Fortune” solidified its stranglehold on first place, gaining 14% to 16.8.

In the off-net pack, Turner’s “The Wonder Years” was the best gainer. It surged ahead 19% to 3.2, followed by Viacom’s extremely strong “Roseanne,” which leapt 17% to 9.1.

Turning to the syndie newsmags, Par’s “Entertainment Tonight” proved to be the star, shooting up 18% to 9.1. KW’s “Inside Edition” moved up 10% to 7.8, while Twentieth TV’s “A Current Affair” and Par’s “Hard Copy” tied at 7.3. “Copy” reached a record high, up 12% from a 6.5 the previous week, while “Affair” inched up 1% from 7.2.

New newsmag news

This season’s latest newsmag, KW’s “American Journal,” saluted a 7% gain to 4 .6.

Weeklies were mostly soft, but there was at least one bright spot: Rysher TPE’s “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” had the best rise of any weekly with a lavish 29% increase to 3.6.

BVTV’s “The Crusaders,” a potential newsmag strip candidate for fall 1995, ran into big ratings trouble during the week. Its 3.5 was off 22% from two weeks ago (the show’s averages were eliminated from last week’s ratings).

Another casualty during the week, WB’s “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues,” was flattened with a 21% loss to 4.2.

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