‘Jones’ tops ‘Rosie’ for No. 2 yakker

The talkshow pecking order was upset for the second straight week, according to national syndie ratings for the week ending June 29, as “Jenny Jones” nudged “Rosie O’Donnell” out of second place for the first time this year.

Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” scored a 4.5 national Nielsen household rating, jumping 15% from the previous week. Paramount’s “Montel Williams” came in third with a 4.4, unchanged from the previous week, when “Montel” bested “Rosie” for the first time in seven months. As usual, King World’s “Oprah Winfrey” led the yak pack with a 6.8, up 3% week-to-week.

“Jenny Jones” ‘ surge ahead of “Montel” and “Rosie” came in a week when the show aired just two original episodes. “Montel Williams” offered four originals during the week of June 23, while “Rosie O’Donnell” only aired one new show.

“Rosie’s” performance was flat from the previous week with a 4.3, yet it was up 30% year-to-year, thanks largely to increased station coverage and timeslot upgrades since the show made its promising debut last June.

Of all the talkers, Columbia TriStar’s “Ricki Lake” posted the largest week-to-week increase, climbing 17% from a 3.6 to a 4.2, which also marked a 5% year-to-year hike. Universal’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” climbed 5% from the previous week to a 3.9. Buena Vista TV’s “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee” and Paramount’s “Maury Povich” tied with a 3.6. Both shows slipped 5% week-to-week and were 10% off from their year-ago marks.

Universal’s “Jerry Springer” dipped 3% from the previous week to a 3.0, which was still up 7% from last year. Tribune’s “Geraldo Rivera” was flat with a 2.2, down 12% from last year.

Outside of the talkshow arena, there was little movement during the week among the top-rated syndie strips. King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” topped the syndie charts with a 10.0 and 8.3, respectively, barely wavering from the previous week.

In the magazine world, Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” was unchanged from the previous week with a 5.1. King World’s “Inside Edition” was up 8% with a 4.3. Par’s “Hard Copy” fell 3% to a 3.6, followed by Warner Bros.’ “Extra” (3.2), King World’s “American Journal” (2.8) and Twentieth TV/NBC’s “Access Hollywood” (2.2).

Buena Vista’s “Home Improvement” led the off-net brigade with a 7.6, flat from week-to-week, as was Columbia TriStar’s “Seinfeld” with a 6.7. Twentieth TV’s “The Simpsons” was up 21% over year-ago with a 6.1. Columbia TriStar’s freshman “Mad About You” inched up from a 3.8 to a 3.9.

On the reality front, Paramount’s “Real TV” sank 9% week-to-week, tying Twentieth’s “Cops” with a 3.1. “Cops,” now in its sixth year of syndie reruns, climbed 7% week-to-week. Worldvision’s “Judge Judy” (2.1) and MGM’s “LAPD” (1.5) were unchanged from the previous week. Rysher Entertainment’s “Strange Universe” gained 8% to score a 1.4.

Among the weekly dramas, Par’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” landed a 5.2, beating Universal’s “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” for the first time in six weeks. U’s “Xena: Warrior Princess” remained the top-rated hour with a 5.3, marking a 20% increase over last year.

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