Holidays no ratings gift for syndies

Christmas zapped the cheer right out of most syndicated shows, which traditionally experience their worst week of the season during the gift-giving period.

The week ended Dec. 27 was no different in the Nielsen national barter rankings, with every firstrun strip in the top 10 declining even though most excluded their Yuletide episodes as spex.

King World’s “Inside Edition” (falling 14% to a 6.1 from a 7.1 the pervious week) and “Wheel of Fortune” (dropping 13% to an 11.9 from a 13.7) suffered from the worst holiday depression among original strips.

Viacom’s “Roseanne” found the biggest lump of coal under the tree of any show on the list, with the off-net sitcom decreasing 15% to a 6.0.

Santa found a warm spot in his heart for Paramount’s weekly “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which glistened to a 25% gain and a first-place finish.

The weekly “Wheel” weekend edition (7.9) also made out like a greedy little elf, celebrating a 13% increase. Twentieth TV’s “A Current Affair Extra,” meanwhile, climbed 10% to a tinselly 4.4.

It was a mixed bag for other syndie entries.

Columbia’s “Designing Women” inched up an tenth to a 6.4, while Viacom’s “The Cosby Show” (5.1) chucked 9% of its previous week’s ratings.

Turner Program Services’ “The Wonder Years” went through several silent nights, diving 16% to a 3.8.

Carsey-Werner’s defunct “You Bet Your Life” headed South for the winter, slipping 12% to a 3.6.

Par’s “The Arsenio Hall Show” roasted in the glow of a 3.3, up a tenth from the previous week–enough to pull ahead of Multimedia’s “Rush Limbaugh,” which, unlike “Arsenio,” airs in a variety of time periods. “Rush” dropped 0.2 to a 3.1 .

Group W’s “Vicki!” hailed a 14% rise to a 2.4, while Genesis Entertainment’s “The Whoopi Goldberg Show” praised an 11% gain to a 2.1.

Tribune Entertainment’s “The Joan Rivers Show” remained ho-hum at a 1.7, while Group W’s “Infatuation” and “That’s Amore” jingled after gaining0.2 to finish at a 1.3.

Among kidvid strips, Buena Vista Television’s “Goof Troop” led the pack of syndicated shows. Program also performed unusually well in the top 10 markets for the week, receiving a gift-wrapped 6.2 rating in the key selling demo of kids 2-11 while Fox’s “Batman: The Animated Series” trailed with a 6.1.

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