‘Simpsons’ Tops Syndie Race

“The Simpsons” team – led by Homer, not Johnnie Cochran Jr. – surpassed “Married… With Children” for the first time in the Nielsen national barter rankings, according to the syndication results for the week ended Jan. 22.

In the last week before the start of O.J. Simpson trial preemptions, the dysfunctional animated clan from Twentieth TV jumped 7% from its previous best of 6.1 last week to a record 6.5 in 84% of t he U.S.

Columbia TriStar’s dysfunctional live-action clan in “Married” climbed 5% to 6.4 with 92% coverage.

“The Simpsons” was the top-performing strip with men 18-34, while Viacom’s “Roseanne” was the highest-rated strip or weekly with younger women.

Strong ‘Prince’

Warner Bros.’ “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” also had a strong week, rising 5% to a record 6.0 household mark. Syndie reruns of MCA TV’s “Coach” fell 12% to 4.3.

On the hour front, Worldvision’s “University Hospital” – the newest addition to the Spelling Premiere Network – delivered a 2.6 rating in its debut week. It improved 18% over the show it replaced, “Heaven Help Us.”

Paramount’s top-rated “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” climbed more than 7% to 8.0, finishing first in all key men demos and anywhere from second to fourth in the female selling groups.

In another notable development, Rysher’s “Lonesome Dove” toppled 11% to a season low of 3.3.

Turning to the magazine group, Par’s “Entertainment Tonight” dipped slightly but still finished with a dominant 8.2.

‘Copy’ leads ‘Edition’

Par’s “Hard Copy” regained the lead over King World’s “Inside Edition” in the tabmag race with an 8% rise to 7.1, while “Inside” picked up 4% to 7.0.

Twentieth’s “A Current Affair” inched up to a 5.5, while KW’s “American Journal” gained 5% to 4.4 and WB’s “Extra – The Entertainment Magazine” stumbled with a 7% drop to 4.0.

Twentieth’s “Cops” pursued a 5.9 rating, up 5% in households and tops in the reality genre in the key male demos and young women.

Genesis’ “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol” was up a bit to 4.6, while its “Top Cops” bounced back with an 18% leap to 2.6.

The only freshman strips to improve during the week were Twentieth’s “Gordon Elliott” (up 3% to 3.0) and Par’s “Jon Stewart” (climbing20% to 1.2).

Shows hitting or tying low-water marks included Multimedia’s “Susan Powter” (down 13% to 1.3) and Group W’s “Marilu” (sliding 18% to 0.9).

Oprah’ lead talker

In the talk category, King World’s “Oprah Winfrey” led the way, posting a 7% increase to 9.7. It ranked first in women 18-49 and second in the other key female demos.

Col’s “Ricki Lake” climbed 5% to a personal best of 6.1, with the young-skewing series ranking third, seventh and eighth, respectively, in the women demos.

Multimedia’s “Sally Jessy Raphael,” Paramount’s “Maury Povich” and Buena Vista TV’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” were all up a bit and finished in a tie at 4.7.

Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” slipped 8% to 4.6, Tribune’s “Geraldo” jumped 18% to 3.9 for its best ratings of the season, Par’s “Montel Williams” fell 14% to 3.8 and Multimedia’s “Donahue” dropped 3% to 3.6.

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