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‘Deep Space’ goes where no other syndie has gone

The two-hour premiere of Paramount’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” plunged through the worm hole and emerged light years ahead of all competitors during the week ended Jan. 10, with the debut episode (“Emissary”) becoming the highest-rated series premiere in syndication history.

“Deep Space,” which saw its numbers reprocessed in the national barter rankings released last week, achieved an unearthly 21.0 household rating for its multiple runs (the number Par uses to sell the show to advertisers) and an ethereal 18.8 mark for its primary run.

That compares to the 15.2 national average spun by the week’s previous front-runner, King World’s “Wheel of Fortune.” Only a handful of network series managed to surpass the 18.8 perf of “Deep Space,” including such powerhouses as “60 Minutes,””Roseanne,””Murder: She Wrote” and “Home Improvement.”

Although the results are lower than the metered-market average, which rounded off to about a 26 rating, a competitor termed “Deep Space’s” national rating “awesome.”

During the following week, the first one-hour episode of “Deep Space” posted an extremely strong 14.4 multiple-run average and a 13.4 primary-run average nationally.

Its standing in relation to all other syndie series containing barter won’t be known until later this week, when Nielsen releases the national rankings (the comparisons normally takes about 10 days to compile).

Par’s “The Untouchables,” meanwhile, got off to an arresting start nationally. During the week of Jan. 11, the two-hour debut bootlegged a 10.2 Nielsen rating for multiple runs and a 9.6 for its primary showing.

In the metered markets, which consist of numbers from the separate Nielsen local-market surveys, the series improved on its time period average by 38%.

Eliot Ness and Al Capone teamed to beat web offerings in several top metered markets, including NBC’s Tuesday lineup in L.A., Detroit, San Diego, Kansas City and Cincinnati.

Faced with stiff competition from special inaugural events in its second week , “The Untouchables” continued to maintain its ratings and bested the competition in several key markets.