Holidays a downer for vet syndie strips

Most veteran strips suffered big losses during the holiday week ended Dec. 29, but talkshows rallied and a few new strips sparkled.

Among the new strips to receive some holiday cheer were Columbia TriStar Television Distribution’s “The Dating/Newlywed Hour,” which was the third-highest-rated frosh strip for the week. The gameshow block jumped 10% to a season high of 2.2, which was 22% ahead of its 1.8 debut.

Tying for third place among the season’s new crop was Worldvision’s court strip “Judge Judy,” which surged 29% to a 2.2, also a season high and a full 57% over its season premiere.

Underdog victory

Atop the fall’s new crop for the week was Paramount Domestic Television’s “Real TV,” which was flat for the week at 3.0, a 43% increase from its 2.1 debut. For the first time, “Real TV” tied for the top position as best new firstrun strip in the metered markets, surprising, given only eight access clearances.

Twentieth TV’s “Access Hollywood” was the second-highest new strip for the week, falling, like all magazine and access shows, 7% to a 2.8. But that was 4% higher than its 2.7 season debut. It tied in rating for the top new firstrun strip in metered markets.

Lower down the chart are new strips “Bzzz!” from Tribune and “In Person With Maureen O’Boyle” from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, which tied at 1.4. “Bzzz!” fell 22% for the week and was 13% below its 1.6 premiere. “Maureen” grew 8% for the week, also 8% ahead of its 1.3 debut.

Rysher’s latenight strip “Strange Universe” was flat for the week at 1.2, 20% ahead of its 1.0 start. Universal’s “Pat Bullard” rose 10% to a season high of 1.1, 38% better than its 0.8 opener.

‘Hangin’ ‘ fallin’

New off-net sitcoms all hit season lows. CTTD’s “Mad About You” dropped 14%, to 4.2. Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution’s “Martin” (2.7) fell 21%. “Warner Bros.’ “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” (1.8) slid 14%. On the flip side, off-net hour “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” tied its season high, rising 20% to a 1.8.

Warner Bros.’ “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” which debuted in June, was second among all talkers to “Oprah,” despite falling 2% to a 4.9. As always, “Oprah” far outrated all other daytime strips, adding 1% to hit a strong 8.4.

Third in the talk arena was Buena Vista TV’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee,” which slipped 6% to a 4.6. All other talkshows rose for the week. Hitting season highs were Par’s Maury Povich (4.1), CTTD’s “Ricki Lake” (3.9) and Twentieth TV’s “Gordon Elliott,” which tied its previous high (1.6).

Twentieth TV’s “Two” led the new weekly pack, gaining 8% to a 2.8, which was 8% ahead of its debut. Tying for second was Rysher’s “FX” (2.7), which fell 16%, still 8% over its premiere. Also second was All American’s “Sinbad,” which grew 17% for the week and 4% since its bow.

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