Auds make time for summer syndies

'Practice,' 'West Wing,' 'She Spies' see improvements

NEW YORK — The arrival of summer saw eight of the 10 top-rated weekly syndicated series exhibit gains compared to the prior week, with the hourlong “Entertainment Tonight Weekend” again ranking as the most-watched program.

The weekly edition of the entertainment mag posted a 3.0 rating, up both versus the previous week and the corresponding period last year.

Off-network dramas also showed gains, with “The Practice” drawing a 2.2 rating, up 10% for the week and 16% compared with 2003. Similarly, “The West Wing” climbed to a 2.1; and “ER” grew 20% week to week, although that represented a significant drop versus last year.

Other programs charting week-to-week improvement were “She Spies,” “Andromeda,” and rookie syndie hours “Unexplained Mysteries” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.” The action hours “Stargate SG1” (1.9) and “Mutant X” (1.6) were both unchanged week-to-week but down versus year-ago levels.

In daytime, Oprah Winfrey’s talker also received an anticipated bump from former President Clinton’s June 22 appearance, with the impressive 9.7 rating delivered that day lifting the show’s weekly average to a 6.5, up 5%.

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