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June sizzle makes syndie ratings fizzle

'Springer' leads yak pack, Oprah picks up pace

The syndie biz is settling into its annual June swoon.

TV tradition has been that when the weather starts to sizzle, ratings for most major skeins start to fizzle, and this year is no exception, judging by Nielsen’s syndie ratings report for the week that ended June 7.

The daytime yak pack was little changed from the previous week, with many of the shows serving up reruns. Studios USA’s “Jerry Springer Show” was flat from week-to-week but still led the field with a 7.2 national household rating.

King World’s “Oprah Winfrey” gained 7% from the previous week to a 6.4. Tying for third place with a 3.9 were Warner Bros.’ “Rosie O’Donnell” and Paramount’s “Montel Williams,” both of which were down slightly from week-to-week.

Even ‘Seinfeld’

Even the ever-resilient “Seinfeld” couldn’t buck the ratings downtrend. Columbia TriStar’s off-net strip slipped to its lowest rating since September, dropping 6% from the previous week to a 5.9. Buena Vista TV’s “Home Improvement” reclaimed the lead, after being beaten by “Seinfeld” for six of the past eight weeks, climbing 5% to a 6.4.

Twentieth TV’s “The Simpsons” eased 2% from week-to-week to a 5.0, while Par’s “Frasier” also gave up 2% to land at a 4.6. Col TriStar’s “Mad About You” dropped 7% to a 2.7, its lowest mark since the start of the season in September.

On the access magazine front, Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” closed the book on its 99th consecutive week at the top and was unchanged from the previous week at a 5.4. WB’s “Extra” fell 5% to a 3.8, while King World’s “Inside Edition” dropped 8% to a 3.6, marking the lowest numbers for both newsmags since September. Par’s “Hard Copy” eased 3% to a 3.2 and NBC/Twentieth TV’s “Access Hollywood” dipped 4% to a 2.4.

‘Judge’ takes dive

Ratings were soft for other reality fare as well. Worldvision’s “Judge Judy” dove 12% from the previous week to a 4.5. Par’s “Real TV” lost 3% to a 3.1. At the top of the syndie charts, King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” each gained one-tenth of a ratings point from week-to-week to a 10.0 and 8.5, respectively.

Syndie weeklies were also ham-mered this week. Twentieth TV’s “X-Files” reruns fell 2% to a new-low mark of a 5.2. USA’s “Xena: Warrior Princess” also slipped to a season-low 4.0, but her USA stablemate “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” rose 10% to a 4.3. That was strong enough to beat out Par’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” for the No. 2 spot behind “X-Files.” “DS9” plunged 22% to a 3.6, its lowest number in recent memory.

Twentieth’s “NYPD Blue” reruns booked a 3.4, down 6% from the previous week. Pearson All Ameri-can’s “Baywatch” rebounded from a season-low the previous week with a 19% spike to a 3.1. Tribune/Atlantis Films’ “Earth: Final Conflict” rose 7% to a 3.1.

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