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ET Weekend tops syndie charts

Final May sweeps results are in for syndicated weekly efforts, with Entertainment Tonight Weekend achieving lone stand-out status. For the week ending May 20th, which counted the sweeps period's final weekend, most of the top weeklies performed below what they were doing in May of last year.

ET Weekend jumped 9% from May 2000 to a 3.7 household score, which is on top of a 26% hike over its May 1999 numbers. In contrast, the next best veteran series X-Files (3.4, down 6%), ER (3.0, down 23%), Stargate SG-1 (2.8, down 15%), Xena (2.7, down 16%) and V.I.P. (2.3, down 18%) all slipped from this time last year. In its first May sweeps, rookie Andromeda tied for third among the weeklies with a 3.0.

In strip action - final sweeps results for this crowd will be available next week - Extra arguably shook things up the most. Scoring an exclusive interview with O.J. Simpson, who talked about the murder investigation of actor Robert Blake's wife, Extra (3.3, up 14% from last week) jumped to its highest numbers in seven weeks. Number one magazine, as usual, was Entertainment Tonight's daily version (5.6, flat).

Elsewhere, top game and relationship shows all edged forward. Blind Date (2.2, up 10%) topped rival Change of Heart (1.9, up 6%). Wheel of Fortune (9.2, up 1%), Jeopardy (7.9, up 1%), Hollywood Squares (3.5, up 6%) and Family Feud (2.5, up 4%) maintained their top four position among the games. Also, Judge Hatchett (2.0, up 11%) took the rookie strip crown for the second time this season, topping usual leader Power of Attorney (1.9, down 5%), which was apparently affected by sports-related pre-emptions in several markets. - Susanne Ault