‘Prancer’ waltzes; ‘Lake’ swells in ratings

A number of talkshows and holiday pix prospered over Christmas week, but the rest of the syndicated pack suffered.

The Tribune Entertainment Co. movie “Prancer,” cleared in 96% of the country, pranced to a third-place finish of 10.5 in the Nielsen national syndication barter rankings for the week ended Dec. 26.

Twentieth TV’s “Miracle on 34th Street” (9.4) wound up in fourth place with clearances in 96% of the U.S., while “It’s a Wonderful Life” garnered a 30 th-place 4.2 in 87% of the country.

Among the chat pack, Columbia’s frosh entry “Ricki Lake” hit a 3.0 rating for the first time, up a tick from the previous week’s mark of 2.9. And preliminary numbers for the following week indicate that “Ricki” jumped 17% to 3.5 with coverage in 89% of the country.

Berry grows

This season’s only other surviving new talkshow, Twentieth TV’s “Bertice Berry,” also saw some growth. It went from a 2.2 to 2.4 during the week, and looked to be headed for a 21% increase to 2.9 the following week based on preliminary Nielsen numbers.

Another talker headed for heights in the national ratings is Group W’s “Vicki!,” which is expected to rise 12% from a 3.2 over Christmas to 3.6 the following week.

Paramount’s “Maury Povich Show,” meanwhile, matched its season high over Christmas week with a 4.6 and beat Tribune’s “Geraldo” (3.6) by 21%, its largest margin of victory yet.

‘Current’ winner

On the newsmag front, Twentieth TV’s “A Current Affair”– the only one of the magazines not to include the low-rated Christmas Day in its weekly average — earned the highest rating of all competitors in the genre with a four-day average of 7.2.

That number, however, would have dropped to 6.5 if Twentieth had figured in its Christmas Day average — behind Par’s “Entertainment Tonight” at 7.0 and King World’s “Inside Edition” at 6.7. Par’s “Hard Copy” finished with a 6.2.

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