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Syndie ‘Cindy’ stalls

'Net queen's TV debut bashed by critics

Ratings were less than sunny for this weekend’s preem of the Miami Beach-set “The Cindy Margolis Show,” the first new syndie show of the 2000-01 TV season.

Latenight weekly skein stars Internet queen Margolis along with co-hosts DJ Skribble and Lance Krall. Show earned a final weighted metered market average of 1.3 rating/4 share, according to Nielsen.

Perf, down an average 7% in the time period for the same week last year, is down an average 38% from “Cindy’s” lead-in programming.

Lead-ins for the show include “Howard Stern,” “Saturday Night Live,” “ER” repeats, “The X-Files” repeats, “Mad TV” and “The Jerry Springer Show.”

Originally developed by former CBS syndie arm Eyemark, “Cindy” is now under the King World banner since CBS Television and King World merged. Cleared in 91% of the country, it aired in 45 metered markets.

Critical response to the show was harsh. The New York Daily News’ David Bianculli, for example, wrote that the show “looks designed to help drive TV into premature extinction.”

While initial response to “Cindy” may have been disappointing, a show’s first night’s performance rarely signals immediate demise for a project. Skein has several potential audience-building weeks to come before the important November ratings sweeps.

And the show did have some bright spots. In New Orleans, “Cindy” improved on the year-ago time period average by 15% on WVUE, where it airs at 12:30 a.m. Sunday night and earned a 3.8/12.

Two other shows have made their debuts in syndication in a dual platform with cable: “The Invisible Man” bowed in June on Sci-Fi Channel and broadcast syndication in some markets; “Lover or Loser” debuted Monday on USA Networks and in syndication in some markets. Both are Studios USA projects.

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