Syndie news shows rebound from drubbing

After a poor November sweeps, some syndie newsmags perked up slightly during the pre-holiday week ending Dec. 22, according to Nielsen.

All the magazines except King World’s “Inside Edition” grew from the previous week, although most were still off year-to-year. Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “Extra” tied its highest rating this season, a 3.4, and it was the only magazine to remain steady from the corresponding week last season.

Paramount Domestic Television’s “Entertainment Tonight” led the mags by its widest margin this season. At a 6.5, “ET” gained 3% for the week and was down a mere 4% from last year. “Inside Edition” fell 6% for the week and 19% from last season to a second-place 4.8. Par’s “Hard Copy” rose 5% to 4.3, off 16% from last year. King World’s “American Journal” climbed 7% to a 3.1, also losing 16% from its year-ago rating.

Twentieth TV’s newcomer “Access Hollywood” was flat for the week at 3.0, tying Par’s “Real TV” as the week’s highest-rated new strip to debut this fall. “Real TV’ dipped 3%. Worldvision’s “Judge Judy” (1.7) was the only new firstrun strip for the week to increase its metered-market lead-in, jumping 11%.

Post-Cruise blues

Among the talkshows, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” (5.0) finished second to “Oprah” for a second straight week, despite falling only 9% from its Tom Cruise-inspired season high the week before to its second-best rating ever. “Oprah” fell just 1% to 8.3, but gained a full 12% from last year’s 7.4.

Buena Vista TV’s “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee” was third after adding 11% for a 4.9, which was still down 8% from one year ago. Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” moved up from sixth place to fourth with an 8% push to 4.1, which was still down 16% from last year at this time.

Universal’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” was flat at 3.9, but up 8% year-to-year. “Oprah” and “Sally” were the only two talkers to grow from the same week last season. On the other end of things, Par’s “Montel Williams” hit a season low of 3.8 after losing 12% for the week and 14% from last year. The new talkers, “In Person With Maureen O’Boyle” (1.3) and “Pat Bullard” (1.0), remained at the bottom of the talk pack, even after registering increases for the week.

Off-net on track

In off-net action, Buena Vista TV’s “Home Improvement,” (10.6) Columbia TriStar Television Distribution’s “Seinfeld” and Twentieth TV’s “The Simpsons” (6.8) all remained in the top 10 of syndie shows for the week. CTTD’s new off-net “Mad About You” gained 2% to a 4.9 and tied its season best.

Leading the whole syndie chart, King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” was flat at 12.0 and down 7% from last year. King World’s “Jeopardy!” climbed 3% to a 10.0, but lost 5% from one year ago. CTTD’s new “The Dat-ing/Newlywed Hour” was flat at 2.0, and Tribune Entertainment’s “Bzzz!” grew 6% to a 1.8.

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