Syndie yakker yanks rug out from under 'Oprah'

Most of syndication took a hit during the Thanksgiving holiday week, but college football preemptions and the busiest travel day of the year couldn’t stop Universal TV’s “Jerry Springer” from hitting an all-time high rating for the sixth consecutive week.

Shockingly, “Jerry Springer” topped perennial talkshow leader “Oprah Winfrey” in the key demographic categories of adults 18-34, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 for the week ended Nov. 30, according to Nielsen’s latest syndie ratings report.

Different worlds

Syndie biz observers noted that “Springer’s” ratings probably got a boost from vacationing kids, teens and college students, while “Oprah Winfrey’s” loyal fans were occupied with turkey dinners and other holiday-related disruptions.

King World’s “Oprah Winfrey” fell 23% from the previous week to a 6.2 household rating. “Jerry Springer” knocked “Rosie O’Donnell” out of the No. 2 spot by spiking 7% week-to-week, to a 6.0.

Paramount’s “Montel Williams” was flat with a 4.8. Universal’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” inched up 2%, to a 4.7, while Warner Bros.’ “Rosie O’Donnell” fell 21% to fifth place with a 4.5. Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” was flat week-to-week at a 4.3.

Buena Vista TV’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” dropped 11%, to a 3.9. Par’s “Maury Povich” gained 9%, to a 3.6, while Columbia TriStar’s “Ricki Lake” notched a 6% increase to a 3.5. Tribune Entertainment’s “Geraldo Rivera” dipped 5%, to a 2.0.

In latenight action, Columbia TriStar TV’s “Vibe” jumped 12% in its fifth week with Sinbad as host to a 1.9. “The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show” was flat week-to-week at a 1.7.

Up, up and up some more

Other freshman syndie strips seemed to benefit from the topsy-turvy program schedules. Eyemark Entertainment’s “Martha Stewart Living” gained 7% to hit its highest rating yet, a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ “The People’s Court” was up 4%, to a 2.7. Eyemark’s “Gayle King” posted a 15% hike to a 2.3, also a new high. Worldvision gameshow “Pictionary” grew 7%, to a 1.6.

Among access magazines, Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” led the field, as usual, with a 2% gain to a 6.6. Warner Bros.’ “Extra” and King World’s “Inside Edition” were tied for second place at a 4.4.

Par’s “Hard Copy” hit a new high for the season, growing 6%, to a 3.8. King World’s “American Journal” fell 7%, to a 2.8, while “Access Hollywood” dropped 8%, to a 2.2.

Par’s videoclip reality strip “Real TV” set a new benchmark in its second season, cracking the 4.0 household rating barrier for the first time. The show’s ratings have climbed 21% over the past four weeks. Worldvision’s court show “Judge Judy” lost a little momentum, easing 8%, to a 3.4.

King World’s gameshows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” both had an off week. “Wheel” tumbled 13%, to a 10.9, while “Jeopardy!” dropped 19%, to hit 8.7.

Reruns of “The X-Files” remained tops among syndie weekly programs in spite of a 10% decline to a 7.5. Universal TV’s “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” pushed past stablemate “Xena: Warrior Princess” for the first time this season, with “Hercules” scoring a 6.4 to “Xena’s” 6.3. Par’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” fell 22% week-to-week to a 5.2.

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