Clark to power ‘Attorney’

Legal skein has led rookies for most of season

Twentieth Television’s “Power of Attorney” has gained order in its court on two counts: Marcia Clark will become a regular for season two, and the skein regained top-dog ratings status among rookie firstrun syndie strips during the first full week of the May ratings sweep.

Clark, who has made guest appearances on “Power” this season, was expected to join the roster of high-profile attorneys next season (Daily Variety, May 14).

“Power” has led the batch of rookie strips in the ratings race most weeks this season, but had slipped to a season low — and second place in the category — during the week ending April 29.

It moved up 11% in the first full week of the May sweep to regain first place, earning a 2.0 national household rating for the week ending May 6, according to Nielsen.

Columbia TriStar TV Distribution’s “Judge Hatchett,” was a close second, flat week-to-week at 1.9 for the week ending May 6.

A pair of shows that have already been determined to not be coming back for a second season, King World’s “Curtis Court” and Paramount’s “Dr. Laura,” were the only two rookie strips aside from “Power” to improve week-to-week as they moved full-force into the sweep.

“Curtis,” in fifth place among the group, moved up 8% to 1.4. “Dr. Laura,” in eighth, moved up 14% to 0.8.

“To Tell the Truth,” which Pearson Television recently greenlighted for a second season, and Telepictures’ “Street Smarts” tied for third at 1.6.

“Truth’s” perf was flat week-to-week. “Street Smarts'” repped an 11% dip.

Studios USA’s “Arrest & Trial,” in sixth place, dipped 7% to a new series low of 1.3.

Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distrib’s “Moral Court” was next, steady at 0.9, followed by “Dr. Laura,” and then Columbia’s “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” which was even at 0.6.

MGM’s “Sex Wars” rounded out the batch, even at 0.5.

Elsewhere in syndication, just one rookie weekly hour gained week-to-week. Par’s “Maximum Exposure” moved up 38% to 2.2, placing second in the group to Tribune Entertainment’s “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda,” which dipped 3% to 2.8.

In talk, Buena Vista TV’s veteran “Live! With Regis & Kelly” recovered most of the drop it experienced the prior week, when repackaged shows were airing. It moved back to its usual spot this season, second among talkers, from the fourth-place finish it earned the week before.

“Live!” improved 20% week-to-week to 3.6. Perf, however, was down 5% compared with the same week the prior year.

King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” led the talkers as usual. Skein was up 4% week-to-week to 5.8, but down 5% year-to-year.

Studios USA’s “Sally” and Telepictures’ “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” were down by the largest percentages year-to-year among the talkers.

“Sally” was down 32% from the prior year by dipping 10% week-to-week to a 1.9. Perf marked the show’s lowest national household rating in at least 11 years and the first time during that frame that the show has dipped below the 2.0 mark.

This is not the first time this season “Sally’s” ratings have hit multiyear lows, but despite its difficulties, Studios USA Domestic TV has cleared the show to return next season on stations repping coverage of 96% of the country.

“Rosie” was down 28% year-to-year and down 7% week-to-week to a 2.8.