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‘REAL’ OUTRANKS ‘ACCESS’

For the first time this season, Twentieth TV’s and NBC’s new $40 million newsmagazine “Access Hollywood” has been knocked from its perch as the top-rated new syndie strip to debut this fall.

Moving into the No. 1 slot in households the week ending Dec. 8 was Paramount Domestic Television’s all-video series “Real TV,” which has been upgraded recently in several major markets. “Real TV” was flat for the week at its season high of 2.9, while “Access” fell 10% and tied its season low of 2.7.

For the past three weeks, “Real TV” has edged out “Access” in the key adults 18-49 and 18-34 demos, but until now, the show trailed in households. Both shows are far behind Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s newcomer “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” which premiered earlier in June and rated a 4.5 in the most recent chart, according to Nielsen.

In the 35 metered markets, “Access Hollywood” fell 31% from its lead-in, while “Real TV” jumped 6%. Responding to the November sweeps performance of “Access” in Syracuse, the CBS affiliate WTVH decided on Wednesday to move the entertainment mag from its 7 p.m. timeslot into latenight, while moving “Real TV” from 2:30 a.m. to the 7 p.m. slot. “Access” dropped 70% from its “CBS Evening News” lead-in on WTVH in November.

Because “Access Hollywood” has shown so little national growth, rep sources say Twentieth TV and NBC could soon make some significant changes to the show.

Aside from “Real TV,” few other new syndie strips have showed much promise this season either. Worldvision’s “Judge Judy” was the only other new firstrun strip to increase its metered-market lead-in, climbing 12% during the week ending Dec. 8, while falling 11% for the week in nationals to a 1.7.

While the season’s two new gameshows are still falling by double-digit percentages from their metered-market lead-ins, they perked up a bit in households. Tribune Entertainment’s “Bzzz!” grew 19% and hit a season high of 1.9. It tied Columbia TriStar Television Distribution’s “The Dating/Newlywed Hour,” which was flat at its own season high.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “In Person with Maureen O’Boyle” fell 20% for the week to a 1.2 and fell 21% from its metered-market lead-in. Universal TV’s vulnerable “Pat Bullard” was flat for the week at 0.9, falling 44% from its metered-market lead-in. Rysher’s latenight strip “Strange Universe” slipped 8% for the week to a 1.2 and fell 33% from its metered-market lead-in.

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