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Syndi shows falter during sweeps

Deep in the heart of May sweeps, syndicated series displayed few signs of higher pulse rates.

Though climbing the previous week, both Rosie and Regis & Kathie Lee fell 3% in the week ended May 14, to 3.8 and 3.7, respectively. Despite rebounding 3% from a season-low 3.6, Jerry Springer dropped to fifth place among the chat crowd for the first time this year.

On the upswing were Oprah (up 5% to a 6.4); Maury (up 6%, 3.7); and Sally (up 7%, 3.0). Montel went down 7% to a 2.8, followed by Ricki (flat, 2.4); Jenny Jones (up 10%, 2.3); Donny and Marie (flat, 1.6); and Roseanne (up 50%, 0.3).

In the action arena, rookie Back to Back fell 23% to a season-low 2.0. Blue-ribbon Profiler misfired as well, down 8% to a 2.4.

Other weeklies swerved off track, including top dogs The X-Files (down 3% to a 3.6) and ER (down 16%, 3.6).

Although flat at 5.8, Entertainment Tonight's weekday version could still pat itself on the back, leading news magazines for the 200th consecutive week. Extra (3.1), Inside Edition (2.7), Access Hollywood (2.3), and National Enquirer (1.5) were all down.

On the court circuit, all series slipped or were stagnant. The two top shows were down: Judge Judy 2% to a 6.4; Judge Joe Brown 3% to 3.7.

Friends was the top off-net show, shooting up 5% to a 5.8.