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‘Magic,’ ‘Forgive’ see signs of hope

Syndie newcomers up against established competish

After two weeks on the air, syndie newcomers “The Magic Hour” and “Forgive or Forget” are fighting an uphill battle for viewers against more established latenight and daytime TV fare.

But there are some encouraging signs for the shows, both of which are produced and distributed by Fox’s Twentieth TV.

“The Magic Hour,” hosted by NBA great Earvin (Magic) Johnson, was bumped up as of Monday to better timeslots in seven markets, where it’ll replace Columbia TriStar’s syndie latenighter “Vibe.” The upgrades include a move to midnight from 2:30 a.m. on WRSP Champaign, Ill., and to midnight from 1 a.m. on WXMI Grand Rapids, Mich. “Magic” also picked up a clearance on Fox affil WRGT in Dayton, Ohio, thanks to the pending departure of “Vibe.”

On the ratings front, “Magic’s” Nielsen average slipped 13% from its premiere week (June 8-12) to week two in Nielsen’s 39 overnight metered markets. With a 2.1 household rating and 6 share average over two weeks, “Magic” is off 16% from its timeslot average during the May sweep, but it’s still 5% ahead of its February sweep timeslot average.

“Forgive or Forget,” meanwhile, is finding its legs in some of Nielsen’s overnight markets. The talk-reality show hosted by Mother Love has averaged a 1.5/5 over the past two weeks, down 6% from its 1.6/6 timeslot average in May. But a closer look at some of the individual market performances tell a different tale.

In Dallas, “Forgive” jumped from a 0.5/2 in week one on at 11 a.m. on WB affil KDAF to a 1.1/3 in week two, while its lead-in rating only improved by two-tenths of a ratings point, from a 2.1 to a 2.3. In Cleveland, Minneapolis and San Diego, “Forgive” improved slightly from week one to week two and surpassed the ratings generated by the last program to occupy its timeslot in those markets.

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