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‘Seinfeld’s’ run hurt by sun, switch

Show hits new all-time low

HOLLYWOOD — Ratings for “Seinfeld” repeats in broadcast syndication continued to weaken during the second week of Daylight Savings Time as the show hit a new all-time low of 4.0 for the week ended April 15, according to Nielsen.

Rating repped a 5% dip from the prior week, when the laffer hit its lowest national household rating perf since it debuted in syndication in September 1995.

The 4.0 rating is down 22% from the sitcom’s season-to-date 5.1 average and down 25% from the same week last year.

While the tumble appears dramatic for such a stalwart show, skein is not alone in its difficulties among the off-net sitcom group: “Friends” was down 7% from the prior week to 5.2, down 9% year to year; “Frasier” was down 4% from the prior week and prior year to 4.9; “Drew Carey” was down 6% for the week to 3.3, which is down 15% from last year; and “3rd Rock From the Sun” dipped 3% to 2.9, a drop of 9% year to year.

Dynamic dipping duo

The show about nothing was up against the double-whammy of Daylight Savings Time and the switching of stations in some 13 markets in conjunction with the start of its second syndie cycle.

Traditionally, upon the switch to DST, viewers spend less time inside in front of the tube during access and early fringe time periods (5-8 p.m.) when off-net sitcoms often air.

And despite heavy promotion, the moving of stations will typically throw auds of any skein for a temporary loop.

Elsewhere in syndication, bright spots included “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” which bounced back 12% from the previous week to 2.8. Skein had dipped 17% week to week for the frame ending April 8 when O’Donnell was out for part of the week with an injury. Co-hosts continued to stand in for her during the week ending April 15.

And among rookie firstrun weekly hours, two shows were up by double-digit percentages over the prior week: “Thunderbox” and “Maximum Exposure.” The former moved up 33% to a season high of 1.6, tying for third in the category with “Sheena,” which was down 20%. “Maximum Exposure” was second among the batch, moving up 13% to 1.8.

“Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” led the group, although it dropped 13% to 2.6.

The two rookie firstrun strips that have led their category this season and are poised to return in the fall, “Power of Attorney” and “Judge Hatchett,” grew and held steady respectively. “Power” moved up 10% to 2.3; “Hatchett” was flat at 2.0.

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