Tabloid ratings up for week

The sordid tale of the alleged Hollywood madam has provento be a midsummer windfall for syndicated tabloid TV shows.

King World’s “Inside Edition,” Twentieth TV’s “A Current Affair” and Paramount’s “Hard Copy” all gained during the week ended Aug. 15, according to the Nielsen national barter rankings.

Perhaps because of its name, “Affair” was the biggest benefactor. Its ratings jumped more than 12% over the previous week to 6.3, while “Copy” leapt 8% to 5.5 and “Edition” moved up a notch to 6.4.

Par’s “Entertainment Tonight” lost a fraction but maintained its usual position atop the syndie newsmag pack with 7.0.

The ratings pop may be only an indication of what’s to come for the tabloid shows now that Michael Jackson has been dragged into the fray.

But viewers proved that they have eclectic tastes: They pushed Buena Vista Television’s “Imagination I” presentation of “Swiss Family Robinson” into the top five of the week.

The pic’s 7.4 rating was good enough to edge out Par’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” which was flat with 7.3.

The talkshows, many of them still in the midst of summer reruns, have failed to benefit as much from the back-to-back scandals in Hollywood.

King World’s slimmed-down “Oprah Winfrey” continues to carry the most weight, with its 9.2 mark still 77% ahead of its nearest competitor, Multimedia Entertainment’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” (5.2).

Multimedia’s “Donahue,” once a top-10 show, was in the 20th spot with 4.9. It was followed by Tribune’s “Geraldo” (4.4), Par’s “Maury Povich” (3.8) and Buena Vista TV’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” (3.2).

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