Classic pix spark syndies

Film reruns beat some new programs

The force was with “Star Wars” and “Gone With the Wind” in syndie airings over the past six weeks.

The Nielsen syndie ratings report issued Wednesday shows the classic pics scored high ratings during broadcast windows that ended March 8. Otherwise, the ratings report reveals a generally lackluster performance by most syndie skeins during the week of March 2.

The special 20th anniversary reissue of “Star Wars,” distribbed by Fox’s Twentieth TV, came in fourth for the week, behind “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy!” and “Home Improvement,” with an 8.0 national Nielsen household rating. “Gone With the Wind,” distributed by Warner Bros.’ Telepictures Distribution, slipped in between “Xena” and “Hercules” at No. 14 with a 5.1.

“Boyz N the Hood,” last month’s featured title in the African Heritage Movie Network film package, also stood out with a 3.4 rating, a higher-than-average number for the African Heritage movie showcase.

Among regularly scheduled syndie weeklies, Twentieth TV’s off-net “X-Files” led the pack for the 20th consecutive week, climbing 6% from the previous week to a 7.1 household rating. For the week, the off-net weekly hours were generally strong, while firstrun hours, many of them in reruns, were soft.

USA Networks’ “Xena: Warrior Princess” was off 5% from week-to-week with a 5.5. USA’s “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” weighing in with a 22% week-to-week slide to a 4.9, was clearly no match for the four-hour trek of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler.

Columbia TriStar’s off-net “Walker, Texas Ranger” rose 9% from week-to-week to a 4.7. Paramount’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” dropped 10% to a 4.6, while Twentieth TV’s off-net “NYPD Blue” hiked 16% to a 3.7. Tribune Entertainment/Atlantis Films’ “Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict” eased 7% to a 3.7.

In daytime, all the major talkers took a week-to-week hit, with the exception of Col TriStar’s “Ricki Lake,” which upticked 5% to a 3.9.

The horse race between King World’s “Oprah Winfrey” and USA’s “Jerry Springer” continued, with both shows dropping 5% to a 7.8. Both were tied the previous week at an 8.2.

Also in a tie at a 4.7 were Paramount’s “Montel Williams” and Warner Bros.’ “Rosie O’Donnell.” WB’s “Jenny Jones” dipped 5% to a 4.1, while Buena Vista TV’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” sank 11% to tie USA’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” with a 4.0. Par’s “Maury Povich” was flat at a 3.3.

In the magazine field, NBC/Twentieth TV’s “Access Hollywood” was the only show to gain ground during the week, rising 4% to a 2.6. Par’s “Entertainment Tonight” was down 9% to a 6.1, and King World’s “Inside Edition” slipped 10% to a 4.5. WB’s “Extra” was off 5% to a 4.2 and Par’s “Hard Copy” eased 3% to a 3.5.

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