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‘Judge Lane’ promising as yak pack goes slack

Courtroom strip averaging 2.0 rating, 6 share

It’s still early in the fight, but “Judge Mills Lane” is looking like it could be a daytime contender.

Rysher Entertainment’s syndie courtshow strip is maintaining respectable, if not spectacular, ratings in its second week on the air. The promising debut comes at an opportune time for the indie distrib, which has been put up for sale by its parent company, Cox Enterprises.

“Mills Lane,” which is running twice a day in many markets, has averaged a 2.0 household rating and 6 share in Nielsen’s 40 overnight metered markets since its Aug. 17 preem.

For the first two days of this week, the half-hour strip has managed a modest increase to a 2.2/7 and is essentially holding its average lead-in rating of a 2.3/7. So far, “Mills Lane” also is out-performing its year-ago timeslot averages (1.7).

There was good news this week on the national ratings front for another fledgling syndie strip, Twentieth TV’s “Forgive or Forget.” For the week of Aug. 10, “Forgive” inched up 7% from the previous week to a 1.6 national Nielsen household rating. In Gotham, “Forgive” is getting a timeslot upgrade on UPN O&O WWOR, moving from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. as of Sept. 14.

Nielsen’s latest national syndie ratings report was not so hot for “The Howie Mandel Show,” which bowed in June. Paramount’s talk-variety strip dipped 6% from the previous week to a 1.6, in spite of having generally stronger clearances and better timeslots than “Forgive.”

All in all, the week of Aug. 10 was a tough one for talkers, most of which were in reruns. Warner Bros.’ “Rosie O’Donnell” fell 21% from the previous week to a 3.0, its lowest household rating since the show’s debut in June 1996. Buena Vista TV’s “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee” was down 12% to a 2.9.

WB’s “Jenny Jones” was off 5% to a 4.2, while Studios USA’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” dipped 7% to a 3.8. Par’s “Montel Williams” lost 5% to a 3.7, while Columbia TriStar’s “Ricki Lake” bucked the downtrend and climbed 6% to a 3.6. At the top of the yak pack, Studios USA’s “Jerry Springer Show” inched up 1% to a 7.3. King World’s “Oprah Winfrey” eased 3% to a 5.8.

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