Syndie access shows get the stuffings knocked out

Gameshows take holiday hit

Syndicated access shows had little to be thankful for on Turkey Day in a week that saw a slew of programs dub holiday broadcasts as specials in order to avoid the traditional Thanksgiving ratings plunge, according to Nielsen ratings for the week of Nov. 22-28.

With only a few days left before the end of sweeps, access shows from gameshows to off-net took a hit from the family festivities, as both of the top two, “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” from King World, saw double-digit dips. “Wheel” was off 15% to a 10.0 rating while “Jeopardy” fell 21% to an 8.1 score.

KW’s “Hollywood Squares” sank a meager 2% to a 4.6 rating. Other programs in the genre had better luck. Universal’s “Blind Date” had its best week ever, rising 7% for a 1.6, but the top new gameshow this season continues to be Pearson’s “Family Feud” which was flat at a 2.0. Sophomore “Change of Heart” from Warner Bros. was up 5% to a 2.2.

Off-net’s off week

Off-net fare saw Warner Bros.’ “Friends” continue as the top program of the genre, despite dipping 9% to a 6.1. Former “Must-see TV” mate “Seinfeld” was off 11% for Columbia TriStar to a 5.6. Third place went to Paramount’s “Frasier” which dodged the downfall and managed to increase auds 2% with a 5.5 ratings.

Among rookies, Warner Bros.’ “Drew Carey” continued to gobble up the crowds as the top freshman with a 4.0 ratings, off 2%. Carsey-Werner’s “3rd Rock from the Sun” was the bridesmaid with a 3% dip to a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ “Wayans Bros.” took third with a 2.0, off 9%.

Other off-net newcomers saw Eyemark’s “Caroline in the City” stay flat for a 1.9 rating, while WB’s “The Parent ‘Hood” and “In the House” slid 5% and 18% respectively for numbers of 1.5 and 1.4. On the flip side, Buena Vista’s “Unhappily Ever After” managed a spike of 17% to an all-time high of 1.4.

Slow news week

Newsmags were down or flat across the board as Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” again led the pack despite a drop of 7% in auds to a 6.1. Warner Bros.’ “Extra” sank 3% to a 3.7, King World’s “Inside Edition” fell 7% to a 2.8 and Warner’s “Access Hollywood” fell 5% to a 2.0. Only freshman “National Enquirer” from MGM avoided the fall, staying flat at a 1.8.

In weekly hours, two shows showed surprising strength over the holidays as Paramount’s “Relic Hunter” and Buena Vista’s “Your Big Break” saw huge ratings shots, tying at a 2.4. The number is a 26% increase for “Relic” and a 20% jump for “Break” marking all-time highs for both shows.

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