‘Wheel’ rolls along

It preems in middle of relationship pack

HOLLYWOOD — Universal’s new syndie dating strip “The 5th Wheel” debuted to ratings in the same ballpark as the other three syndie relationship strips that have bowed so far this season.

In its Monday preem, the show earned a 1.1 weighted metered market average rating and a 3 share. “The 5th Wheel” airs in 45 metered markets, largely in latenight time periods.

Telepictures’ “ElimiDate” has led the newcomer relationship pack, averaging a 1.4 weighted metered market average/3 share since it debuted Sept. 17. It earned a 1.4/4 on its first day.

Paramount’s “Rendez-View” has averaged a 1.1/4 since debuting Sept. 17 to a 1.4/5 first day average. And Columbia’s “ShipMates” has been averaging a 1.0/3 since debuting Aug. 27, when its preem earned a 1.1/3.

Meanwhile, national household ratings are now available for two new syndie strips that debuted Sept. 10, King World’s “The Ananda Lewis Show” and NBC’s “The Other Half.” Those perfs were in the same ballpark as the first new talker to debut, Buena Vista’s “Iyanla,” which is a bit behind national averages for newcomer “Crossing Over With John Edward,” from Studios USA.

Preemptions

The national figures for “Ananda” and “Other Half” represent only the skeins’ showings for their preem day, as virtually all syndie strips were preempted widely the rest of that week due to coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. As a result of a vast number of preemptions by TV stations, Nielsen only counted Sept. 10 in posting national household ratings for most strips during the week ended Sept. 16.

That said, “Ananda” earned a 1.2 national household rating for the week ending Sept. 16, according to Nielsen. “The Other Half” earned a 1.0.

Perf of “Ananda” placed it in a tie with “Martha Stewart Living” in 11th place among the 14 daily talkers. “The Other Half” tied with fellow newcomer “Iyanla,” in its fifth week on the air, in last among yakkers.

“Crossing Over,” in its third week, slipped 15% from the previous week to a 1.7 and eighth place among talkshows. “Crossing Over’s” national ratings include a daily run on cable net Sci Fi Channel.

Relationship skein “ShipMates,” also in its third week, was even with the previous week’s national ratings at 0.9. Show has since earned a batch of additional runs. TV stations in Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Indianapolis and West Palm Beach added a second run of “ShipMates” on Monday.

‘Oprah’ jumps

“The Oprah Winfrey Show” topped the talk category for the week with its season preem. Skein, in an episode featuring Dr. Phil McGraw, earned a 6.9. Perf is up 35% over the previous week and the best showing for the skein in more than a year.

Bright spots also showed up among the weeklies, where “Entertainment Tonight” led weekly hours by moving up 33% week to week to a 4.0. That’s up 60% year to year.

“Friends” led the off-net sitcoms, building 15% from the previous week to a 5.5.

Evaluating how the new and returning shows are faring this season will continue to be difficult, as TV skeds remain in flux due to breaking news coverage of developing events related to the attacks on Sept. 11.

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