Some syndies continue surge

Numbers up in wake of sweeps

HOLLYWOOD — The week after February sweeps, some syndicated shows were still noisy, not noticing that the promotional bells had quieted down.

Twentieth Television’s off-net rookie “King of the Hill” hit a new season high for the week ending March 10, jumping 6% from the last ratings period to a 3.8 Nielsen score. The strip is also tracking 52% better than its debut in the fall.

‘King’ in Gotham

What makes the “King of the Hill” surge more impressive is that it currently runs in a tough midnight timeslot in top market New York.

“Entertainment Tonight Weekend,” similarly keeping in sweeps form, soared 38% from last week to a 4.4. That’s up 33% from where it was this time last year.

But many syndies were looking tired. Most talkers slumped lower including leader “Oprah” (5.5, down 7% from the prior period). “Live With Regis and Kelly” (3.3, down 11%) sunk to a new low for the season. “Maury” (3.3, down 6%) tied “Live” for second among the yakkers, but is 3% off from the comparable week in March 2001.

Only one of six dating strips, “Change of Heart” (1.5, up 15%), gained over last week. The best in the genre, “Blind Date” (2.0, flat), and freshman “Elimidate” (1.6, flat) held steady.

Mixed-up laffers

Elsewhere, sitcoms “Friends” (7.4, up 1%), “Seinfeld” (6.7, down 6%) and “Everybody Loves Raymond” (5.8, down 6%) were mixed.

Same story for weekend hours “Andromeda” (3.1, up 7%), “The X-Files” (2.9, down 3%) and “Stargate SG-1” (2.8, down 13%); as well as rookies “Texas Justice” (2.1, flat), “Crossing Over” (1.9, down 10%) and “Weakest Link” (1.8, up 6%).

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