‘Rosie’ sprung

'Springer' moves into No. 2 slot among talkers

With chairs flying, bouncers prying and spurned lovers crying, “Jerry Springer” has finally pummeled his way to the No. 2 spot among daytime syndie talkshows.

Universal’s “Jerry Springer” overtook Warner Bros.’ “Rosie O’Donnell” in the national household ratings race for the first time during the week ending Nov. 16, according to Nielsen’s latest syndie ratings report. The report overlaps the third week of the November sweep.

“Jerry Springer,” which marks its 1,200th episode today gained 9% from the previous week to top out at a 5.1 household rating, compared to a 5.0 for “Rosie O’Donnell.” That’s a 70% increase for “Jerry Springer” from the same time frame last year.

What explains his surge in popularity this season? In the words of a loyal fan, taken from a posting on Universal’s “Jerry Springer” Web site, “it’s cheaper than pay-per-view boxing.”

Shoving matches, sexual quirks and salty language have become a staple of the show, whose circuslike atmosphere has inarguably struck a chord with millions of viewers. “There’s nothing better than watching two big ol’ (women) dukin’ it out,” wrote another fan in response to a recent episode featuring ex-lovers pleading for reconciliation over the protests of their new mates.

At the other end of the talkshow spectrum, King World’s “Oprah Winfrey” maintained its usual wide lead over the competition, although the show was flat from week-to-week at an 8.1. Universal’s “Sally Jessy Raphael climbed 4% to a 4.7. Buena Vista TV’s “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee” was up 5% to a 4.6, a new high for the season.

Paramount’s “Montel Williams” notched a 7% gain to a 4.6. Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” rose 11% to a 4.2, while Par’s “Maury Povich” was up 11% to a 3.4. Columbia TriStar’s “Ricki Lake” went up 6% to a 3.3. In last place with a 2.2 was Tribune Entertainment’s “Geraldo Rivera,” who announced last week that this season will be his last as a daytime talkshow host.

‘Vibe’ edges ‘Wayans’

In latenight, the tight race between “Vibe” and “The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show” continued, with Col TriStar’s “Vibe” gaining 6% week-to-week to a 1.8. Buena Vista TV’s “Wayans” rebounded 13% from a season low the previous week to a 1.7.

Among other freshman syndie strips, Warner Bros.’ “The People’s Court” saw a growth spurt that put it ahead of Eyemark Entertainment’s “Martha Stewart Living” for the first time this season. “People’s Court” was up 16% to a 2.9, while “Martha” was flat at a 2.8. Eyemark’s “Gayle King” spiked 10% to a 2.2. Worldvision’s “Pictionary” saw a 7% gain to a 1.5.

Access magazine shows had a particularly strong week, with four of the six shows hitting new rating highs for the season.

Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” rose 3% to a 6.6, marking its fifth consecutive week-to-week gain. King World’s “Inside Edition” hiked 4% to a 4.8. Warner Bros.’ “Extra” climbed 7% to a 4.7. Par’s “Hard Copy” gained 3% to a 3.7, while King World’s “American Journal” was up 7% to a 3.1. “Access Hollywood,” from NBC and Twentieth TV, added 5% to a 2.3.

Elsewhere in the world of reality programming, two sophomore strips, Par’s “Real TV” and Worldvision’s “Judge Judy,” hit their highest ratings ever. “Real TV” inched up 3% to a 3.7; “Judge Judy” spiked 9% to a 3.6, marking a 112% increase over the same time last year. MGM’s “LAPD” was flat at a 1.3, while Rysher Entertainment’s “Strange Universe” dropped 8% to a 1.1.

Among off-network sitcoms, Paramount’s “Frasier” shined, rising 6% to its highest household number yet, a 5.5. Carsey-Werner’s “Grace Under Fire” gained 3% to a 3.3. Warner Bros.’ “Living Single” spiked 8% to a 2.6 and Buena Vista TV’s “Boy Meets World” soared 13% to a 2.6. Veterans “Home Improvement,” “Seinfeld” and “The Simpsons” were flat week-to-week.

In weekly action, Paramount’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” bested Universal’s “Xena: Warrior Princess” for the first time this season. “DS9” jumped 6% to a 6.4, while “Xena” was flat at a 6.2. U’s “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” dipped 3% to a 5.9. Twentieth TV’s off-net “X-Files” still led the weekly syndie pack, in spite of a 10% decline to a 7.0.

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