Season victors and also-rans

Tried-and-true programs were the winners in the 2000-01 season syndication battle, with old standbys like Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Friends
and Seinfeld
staying on top.

and Jeopardy
remained the top two syndicated shows on the air, Wheel
scoring an average 9.0 rating and Jeopardy
a 7.6. Both shows were down compared with 2000-01: Wheel
7% and Jeopardy

Hollywood Squares
and relationship strip Change of Heart
lost the most ground. Declining 23% to a 2.7, King World's Hollywood Squares
is under new management this year, headed by executive producers Henry Winkler and Michael Levitt. Telepictures Productions'Change of Heart
has been facing declining ratings for two years now; in the 2000-01 season, it dropped 26% to a 1.4 rating.

Among the off-net comedies, Warner Bros.'Friends
and Sony's Seinfeld
remain atop the heap, and both saw double-digit ratings increases. Friends
averaged a 6.7 rating last year, up 24%, and Seinfeld
averaged a 6.1, up 30%.

In the magazine genre, Paramount's Entertainment Tonight
continues to be the dominant program, holding a 5.8 average season-to-season. ET
has been the No. 1 magazine in syndication for more than six years. Warner Bros.'Extra
fell 10% in 2001-02 to a 2.7, while NBC Enterprises'Access Hollywood
was up slightly with a 2.6 rating.

In talk shows, King World's Oprah
remains the leader, although its average 5.6 for the season was down 5%. No. 2 talker Buena Vista's Live With Regis and Kelly
had a 3.6 average, also off 5%. Other talk strips aren't holding up as well as Oprah
and Regis and Kelly: Universal's Jerry Springer Show
slid 22% to a 2.8, and Sony Domestic's Ricki Lake dropped 25% to a 1.8.

Paramount's Judge Judy at a 5.6 and Judge Joe Brown at a 3.3 are still the top two court shows. Both declined 8% in 2001-02. Twentieth Television's Divorce Court was down 7% at a 2.7, and Sony's Judge Hatchett decreased 15% to a 1.7.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.