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‘Wayans,’ ‘Vibe’ end sweeps neck & neck

Freshman syndie latenight strips “The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show” and “Vibe” ended their first November sweep in a dead heat.

Buena Vista TV’s “Wayans” and Columbia TriStar’s “Vibe” were tied at a 2.4 household rating and 6 share for the Oct. 30-Nov. 26 sweep period in Nielsen’s 38 overnight metered markets. Both talk-variety hours bowed Aug. 4.

During the sweep, “Wayans” averaged a 40% dropoff from its average lead-in rating of a 4.0/8. “Vibe,” which began the sweep with comedian Sinbad replacing Chris Spencer as host, lost 20% of its average lead-in audience of a 3.0/6. In year-to-year comparisons, both shows were down an average 14% from the November ’96 timeslot averages.

The entrance of Sinbad helped “Vibe,” which had averaged a 1.7/4 in October, but didn’t dent “Wayans,” which held steady from its October average of a 2.4/6.

Among the top 10 markets, “Wayans” held its ground on Fox O&O WJBK Detroit and soared 67% over the November ’96 timeslot average on Fox O&O WFLD Chicago. “Vibe” had its best showing on WATL Atlanta, increasing the timeslot average by 52% over the year-ago measure.

Elsewhere in the talkshow universe, the story of the sweep was Universal TV’s “Jerry Springer,” which surged to second-place behind “Oprah Winfrey” with a 5.8 household rating and 19 share. In year-to-year comparisons, “Jerry Springer” is up more than 100%.

King World’s “Oprah Winfrey” held the lead among the yak pack with an 8.1/21. Warner Bros.’ “Rosie O’Donnell” placed third with a 5.6/15, followed by Universal’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” with a 4.7/14.

After 10 years on the air, Buena Vista TV’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” still ranks as the most popular morning talker, weighing in with a 4.7/18. That showing is impressive because the talker airs exclusively in morning timeslots when the available audience is smaller than in the afternoons, when Oprah, Jerry, Rosie and Sally have most of their clearances.

Rounding out the talk top 10 were Paramount’s “Montel Williams” (4.0/12), Par’s “Maury Povich” (3.4/12), Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” (3.4/12); Col TriStar’s “Ricki Lake” (2.7/7); and Tribune’s “Geraldo Rivera” (2.6/9). Eyemark Entertainment’s freshman talker “Gayle King” scored a 2.2/8, while its how-to companion “Martha Stewart Living” did a 3.0/11.

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