‘Buffy’ slays competish in off-net syndie debut

Show highest-rated preem of an off-net weekly since 'ER's' perf in 1998

The weekend off-network debut of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in broadcast syndication was the highest-rated preem of an off-net weekly since “ER’s” perf in 1998, according to Nielsen figures.

“Buffy” earned a 2.7 national household rating for the week ended Sept. 30. In its key 18-34 demo, it earned a 1.9, placing it in a tie with “Stargate SG-1” for second in the demo among weekly hours. “ER” edged the shows out in the demo with a 2.0 in A18-34.

“The Practice” also debuted as a weekly off-network hour, earning a 2.6 national household rating.

And everbody really does love “Raymond”: The Monday through Friday off-net syndie debut of “Everybody Loves Raymond” topped all new off-net sitcom entries this fall, placing third overall among off-net laffers with a 4.2.

Skein placed behind “Seinfeld” (5.9) and “Friends” (5.2), and beat “Frasier” (3.3). “Frasier,” whose time periods have begun shuffling a bit as new off-netters enter the fray, hit an all-time off-net low. The show’s repeats debuted as a syndie strip in 1997.

Following “Raymond” in the new off-net sitcom category was “Just Shoot Me,” which moved up 22% from its preem the week before to a 2.8; “Steve Harvey,” also in its second week, was up 9% to 1.2; “Mad TV” was flat at 0.7.

Among the firstrun fare new to syndication, Paramount Domestic TV’s half-hour weekly pop culture review show “Hot Ticket” debuted with a 1.5. Perf marks the second-highest preem of a non-kids half-hour weekly in five years.

Ratings for “Crossing Over With John Edward” continue to lead those of all freshman firstrun strips. The show earned a 1.6, which was its lowest rating since its preem five weeks prior. It should be noted, however, that although the show’s national ratings include its run on cable’s Sci Fi Channel, the show also was preempted in New York on WCBS starting Sept. 11. It returned to the station’s sked Oct. 9.

Fellow newcomer to the talk category, “The Ananda Lewis Show,” in its third week, dipped 15% week-to-week to a 1.1, tying with talker “Iyanla,” which moved down 8% week-to-week in its seventh week.

Ensemble yakker “The Other Half” was flat in its third week at 1.0.

Talk-relationship skein “Talk or Walk,” whose ratings were reprocessed by Nielsen in its debut week, earned a 0.7 in its second week.

Among the new relationship strips, “ElimiDate” was flat with its preem the prior week at a 1.0. “ElimiDate” does not have a traditional Gotham clearance. It airs on Long Island-based WLNY, which can be found in the market on cable.

“Rendez-View” and “ShipMates” moved in tandem, up 13% in week two and five, respectively, to 0.9.

Gamer “Card Sharks” was flat with its preem the prior week, at 0.8.

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