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Blizzard Boosts Sitcoms

Off-network sitcoms "Home Improvement" and "Seinfeld" both hit all-time-high ratings, as did lesser entries such as "Step by Step" (3.3 in homes) and "Blossom" (2.9).

Off-network sitcoms “Home Improvement” and “Seinfeld” both hit all-time-high ratings, as did lesser entries such as “Step by Step” (3.3 in homes) and “Blossom” (2.9).

“Improvement” remained the top-rated program in all key women’s demographics and all key male categories except men 18-34, where the Disney sitcom trailed World Championship Wrestling.

O.J. juices ‘Copy’

Paramount’s “Hard Copy,” fueled by outtakes from the O.J. Simpson video, jumped 13% from the previous week, to its best NTI rating since the week of April 24. The tabmag still trailed King World’s “Inside Edition,” which was preempted two days in New York due to storm coverage.

The freshman class, meanwhile, continues to struggle, with Group W’s “Day & Date” dropping to a 1.4 rating, while “Tempestt” (2.2) led the pack of first-year talkshows.

“The Oprah Winfrey Show” gained 12% in rating compared with the previous week , though that still represents a decline from the show’s performance a year ago. Similarly, “Ricki Lake” was off 14%, “Sally Jessy Raphael” down 18%, “Maury Povich” fell 11% and “Jerry Springer” off 12% vs. results for the corresponding week in 1995.

In terms of the entertainment strips, “Entertainment Tonight” and “Extra” were both up marginally from the previous week but down compared with their year-ago tallies.

“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” rocketed to the top of the chart among first-run weekly hours, finishing ahead of MCA’s “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” in homes and key demos while posting its best results in five weeks. “The Outer Limits” ran third in key male demographics, while a cooling “Baywatch” finished well back in that category, off more than 30% in homes from the same week last year.

Blizzard Boosts Sitcoms

Production: East Coast blizzard conditions heated up ratings for some syndicated shows according to Nielsen syndication rankings for the Jan. 8-14 week, though certain programs were negatively affected by preemptions due to extended news coverage of the storm.

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