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Auds love is ‘Blind’

'Date' makes bold move in syndie ratings

Relationship skein “Blind Date” made the most connections in the frosh series’ history during the week that ended July 23.

“Blind Date” increased its ratings perf week-to-week more than any other first-run syndie strip by moving up 14% to a new series high, with a national household rating of 2.4, according to Nielsen.

This marks the first week the show beat rival relationship strip “Change of Heart,” which dipped 8% to 2.3.

Elsewhere in the game/relationship genre, most shows were flat or nearly flat.

“Wheel of Fortune” eased down 1% to 9.1, while “Jeopardy” was up 1% to 7.7. “Hollywood Squares” was even with the previous week at 3.8, and “Family Feud” grew 4% to 2.5.

Daytime drama

Meanwhile there was drama in daytime among the talk shows.

While “Oprah” maintained the top spot, moving down 2% to 5.7, “Jerry Springer” was knocked out of the silver medal spot by “Maury.”

This is the highest “Maury” has ever ranked in the talk ratings race. The show improved 5% to 4.1. “Springer,” on the other hand, moved down 2% to 4.0 for the yakker bronze.

“Live With Regis & Kathie Lee,” turning in the best year-to-year improvement in the category by doing 9% better than it did in the same week of 1999, was even with the previous week at 3.6.

Among the other vet talkers, “Sally Jessy Raphael” was up 6% to 3.4; “Montel Williams” was up 3% to 3.0; “Jenny Jones,” moving up 8%, and “Ricki Lake,” remaining flat, tied at 2.8; and “Rosie O’Donnell” turned in a ninth-place finish at 2.7.

Judging the judges

The court shows were relatively steady, although both a series high and a season low were achieved in the group.

Frosh gaveler “Judge Mathis” earned a series high of 2.7, by improving 4% on the previous week. And “Judge Mills Lane” moved down 5% to a season low of 2.0.

Off-net dramas “ER” and “The X-Files” dominated the weekly genre, at 4.3 and 4.0, respectively.

“Entertainment Tonight” weekend edition led the first-run weeklies, although it dropped 21% to 3.0. “Xena,” down 19%, and “V.I.P.,” up 26% followed in a tie at 2.9. “Baywatch Hawaii” was next, down 12% to 2.2.

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