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Syndie skeins on slide

'Live!,' 'Queen Latifah' are exceptions among major vets

If misery loves company, Wall Street’s gotta have a crush on the syndie biz, which is also suffering from the downward pointing arrow.

Year-to-year declines dominated the syndie strip biz’s national household ratings results for the February ratings sweep, which Nielsen released Wednesday.

Except for “Live! With Regis & Kelly” and “Queen Latifah,” ratings perfs for virtually every major veteran daytime talkshow are down compared to the February sweep in 2000.

The court genre, possibly overloaded by the five new entries this season, was not any better, with every veteran posting losses.

And off-net sitcoms took hits.

Among the firstrun strip newcomers, many of which are too close for comfort to the ax, just two shows broke a 2.0 rating for the Feb. 1-28 period, although a handful of rookies have flirted with the mark during the season.

“Power of Attorney” led the batch of rookie firstrun strips, with a 2.4 rating, followed by “Judge Hatchett” (2.2).

By comparison, last season wasn’t a lot better for rookies, but it was slightly healthier at the top. “Divorce Court” led the rookies last year with a 3.3, while “Judge Mathis” and “Family Feud” were second (2.4).

“Street Smarts” was third among this year’s rookies, with a 1.9, followed by “To Tell the Truth” and “Arrest & Trial,” which earned 1.8.

“Curtis Court” tallied a 1.7, followed by “Dr. Laura” and “Moral Court,” both with a 0.9.

“Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” and “Sex Wars” rounded out the batch with a 0.7 and 0.6 respectively.

‘Live! lives on’

In daytime talk, “Live!” moved up 11% over last year to a 4.2 to place second in the genre. “Queen Latifah,” which is not likely to come back for a third season, was the only other yakker up, improving 8% to 1.4.

“Oprah” was tops at 6.6, down 6%, and “Jerry Springer” was down 16% to 3.8.

“Maury” was off 5% to 3.7 and “Montel Williams” was also down 5%, to 3.5.

“Rosie O’Donnell” was down 21% to 3.1, and “Ricki Lake” was down 4% to 2.6, beyond which additional losses were posted with “Sally” (down 25% to 2.4), “Jenny Jones” (down 12% to 2.3) and “Martha Stewart Living” (down 6% to 1.5).

Four of the six veteran courtshows were down by double-digit percentages.

“Judge Judy” was down 15% to 6.4, followed by “Judge Joe,” off 11% to 3.9. “Divorce Court” was off 6% to 3.1, “Judge Mathis” was down 8% to 2.2, “People’s Court” was down 32% to 1.9, and “Judge Mills Lane” was off 25% to 1.8.

Among very few bright spots was mag “Inside Edition,” whose arrow moved in the positive direction 6% to 3.3.

“Entertainment Tonight” led “Inside’s” genre, which fared slightly better than most. “ET” earned a 6.9, but was down by a percentage point.

“Extra” was second, down 6% to 3.4, “Access Hollywood” was flat (2.7), and “National Enquirer Uncovered” was down 37% to 1.2.

Like “Inside,” “Blind Date” provided some bright light. The soph moved up 16% to 2.2, as did fellow sophomore “Family Feud,” up 13% to a 2.7.

The off-net sitcoms, which are generally expected to erode by about 5%, were not so lucky; the top five dipped by 7%-18%.

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