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Frosh strips slip

'Vibe,' 'Wayans' hit slump in Feb. ratings

The February sweep is ending on a low note for syndie’s freshman latenight strips “Vibe” and “The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show.”

With all but one day’s worth of ratings data calculated, both latenight talk-variety shows are down from their November averages in Nielsen’s 38 overnight metered markets. Some of the decline can be chalked up to increased competition from CBS’ Winter Olympics coverage, but both shows have generally been trending down since November.

Crucial numbers

Columbia TriStar TV Distribution’s “Vibe” has posted a larger drop from sweep to sweep than Buena Vista TV’s “Wayans,” but the February book is seen as more crucial for “Wayans.” Buena Vista’s second-year renewal deal with the 22-station Fox O&O group hinges on “Wayans” hitting certain performance targets by June, when a competing show from Fox’s Twentieth TV syndie arm, “The Magic Hour,” is poised to bow in the timeslots now occupied by “Wayans.”

“Vibe” and “Wayans” closed out November in a dead heat, with both averaging a 2.3 household rating and 6 share. But “Vibe,” which has inked second-year renewal deals in a majority of TV markets, has lost much of the momentum it gained in November after comedian Sinbad replaced original host Chris Spencer.

Ratings slip

“Vibe” is averaging a 1.8 household rating and 5 share in the metered markets, down 22% from its November average. “Wayans” is off 9%, dipping to a 2.1/6. Both shows posted declines from November to February in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other major markets.

Among the rest of syndie’s freshman class, Warner Bros. “The People’s Court” is right behind with a 2.8/9 average for the sweep. Eyemark Entertainment’s “Martha Stewart Living” followed with a 2.6/10. Eyemark’s “Gayle King” weighed in with a 2.0/8, while Worldvision’s “Pictionary” was stuck at a 1.5/5.

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