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“The Magic Hour” grappled with interference from hockey and basketball championship games in its first four days on the air last week.

The Monday-Thursday average for Twentieth TV’s syndie latenight startup was a 2.3 household rating and 6 share in Nielsen’s 39 overnight metered markets. Ratings for Friday’s telecast won’t be available until today.

While not spectacular, “Magic’s” four-day numbers are on par with what its stations in the overnight markets were averaging in the timeslot during the past May sweep. “Magic’s” four-day average has come in lower than the premiere week perf of last summer’s syndie newcomers, “The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show” (3.5/9) and “Vibe” (2.8/7). Both of those shows were canceled this year after their rating plummeted.

However, “Magic’s” first-week ratings were affected by the overrun of Fox’s June 9 coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup finals, which delayed the start time of the talker by more than an hour in 13 major East Coast markets. The Fox-produced syndie strip is carried by all 22 Fox O&Os and numerous Fox affils.

Moreover, NBC’s June 10 coverage of the down-to-the-buzzer Game 4 of the NBA Finals provided unusually strong competition in East Coast markets for the fledgling latenight vehicle hosted by NBA great Earvin (Magic) Johnson. “Magic” bowed June 8 with a 3.0/8, slipping the following night to a 2.1/6, then to a 2.1/5 on June 10 before rebounding June 11 to a 2.3/6.

There were other encouraging signs from the June 11 telecast, as “Magic” hit its highest rating yet in Chicago (3.2/9), Dallas (3.8/9), Atlanta (5.7/17) and Salt Lake City (2.5/13). That seg, with guests Kenny G and Christine Lahti, served up less star power than the first three installments, which boasted such names as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Whitney Houston and Harrison Ford.