‘Fifth Wheel’ rolls in syndie bow

Skein beats out 'Shipmates,' 'Rendez-View'

The final new entry into this season’s race to woo fans of syndie relationship shows, “Fifth Wheel,” was viewer’s second-most-popular choice among syndicated rookie relationship skeins during its preem week.

Show, from Universal Worldwide Television, earned a 1.0 national household rating for the week ended Oct. 7, according to Nielsen. It beat out Columbia TriStar TV Distribution’s “ShipMates” and Paramount Domestic TV’s “Rendez-View,” but came in second to Telepictures’ “ElimiDate,” which moved up 10% week to week to a 1.1.

“ElimiDate’s” perf was its best in its three frames featured on the Nielsen chart.

“ShipMates,” in its sixth week, and “Rendez-View,” in its third, both moved down 11% week to week to 0.8.

‘King’ weighs in

The off-network run of Twentieth Television’s “King of the Hill” entered the Nielsen chart with a 2.5 rating. The show’s rating is its first on the chart, although the show was in its third week on the air. Skein was not rated during its first two weeks as it was barter-free initially.

“King’s” perf placed it in a tie with “Just Shoot Me” for second among new off-network sitcoms and fifth overall among off-net laffers in broadcast syndication.

“Shoot,” distributed by Columbia, was down 11% week to week in its third frame.

King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” led the newcomers, moving up 2% in its second week to 4.3.

“The Steve Harvey Show,” distribbed by Columbia, was fourth, up 8% in its third week in syndication to 1.3. And Warner Bros.’ “MadTV” was next, up 14% to 0.8 in its third week.

“Friends” reruns reclaimed first position among off-net sitcoms, moving up 29% to 6.7. “Seinfeld” had held the top spot in recent weeks, since its double-run kicked in. “Friends'” jump also coincided with additional runs, as its double-run on cable net TBS began during the frame. The TBS ratings are included in the 6.7 for “Friends.”

“Seinfeld” was No. 2, edging up 3% to 6.1, and was followed by “Raymond” and “Frasier” (up 6% to 3.5). “King” and “Shoot” tied with “The Drew Carey Show,” which was up 4% to 2.5. “3rd Rock From the Sun” was up 5% to 2.3.

In the weekly arena, repeats of Twentieth’s hourlong “World’s Wildest Police Videos” debuted at 2.1 while Hearst Entertainment’s “The Bravest,” an hourlong reality skein about firefighters, preemed to a 1.4.

Improvement with ‘Practice’

Weekly repeats of “The Practice” moved up 12% in the second week to a 2.9, and repeats of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” also in their second week, dipped 4% to 2.6. “Buffy” was preempted in Gotham.

Studios USA Domestic TV’s “Crossing Over With John Edward” continued to lead the batch of new firstrun strips despite continued preemption in Gotham. Skein was up 13% in its sixth week to 1.8, which includes the show’s run on cable net Sci Fi.

Buena Vista TV’s “Iyanla” was flat at 1.1 in its eighth week, and King World’s “The Ananda Lewis Show” and NBC Enterprises’ “The Other Half” — both in their fourth week — earned a 1.0. “Ananda” was down 9% week-to-week, while “Other” was flat.

Tribune’s “Talk or Walk” was flat at 0.7 in its third week, and Fremantle’s “Card Sharks” was flat at 0.8 in week three.

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