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Syndie Insider

Seacrest Finds a Home, More Stations

Twentieth Television has found a home for its latest entry, now officially titled On Air With Ryan Seacrest. The show will be set in Los Angeles's Hollywood and Highland complex, next to the Kodak Theatre, where major TV events such as the Academy Awards and the first American Idol finale have been held.

Twentieth also has increased the show's clearances to 85%, adding Viacom-owned KBHK-TV San Francisco, WBFS-TV Miami, and WNDY(TV) Indianapolis; Sinclair-owned WCWB-TV Pittsburgh; Meredith-owned KPDX-TV Portland, Ore.; Bay City-owned XETV-TV San Diego; and Raycom-owned WXIX-TV Cincinnati.

The show, which will launch in January, will be shot in a multi-story glass studio where visitors to the shopping and entertainment complex can look in and watch a taping or gather in the near-by courtyard to watch live performances.

Syndie Viewing Stays Low

With the final week of the 2002-03 syndication season ended Aug. 31, already low viewing levels inched up only three-quarters of a percent as viewers enjoyed the final days of summer vacation.

Ratings for the top game and talk shows were somewhat higher than the previous week, but a couple of relationship shows ended the season on a down beat. King World's Wheel of Fortune continued to lead in games, up 4% to a 7.7 rating; King World's Jeopardy was up 7% to a 6.3; and Buena Vista's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire was up 3% to a 3.1.

In talk, King World's Oprah rebounded off its season low, up 2% to a 5.0, while King World's Dr. Phil was up 8% to a 4.3. Universal's Maury added 3% to hit 3.3 for its ninth third-place finish in 11 weeks, and Buena Vista's Live With Regis and Kelly was up 3% to a 3.0.

Two dating shows hit new lows for the season. Universal's Blind Date was down 13% to a 1.4, and Twentieth's Ex-Treme Dating slid 22% to a 0.7. Universal's Fifth Wheel was unchanged at a 1.2. The only other strip to hit a new low was Twentieth's off-net Dharma & Greg, which fell 9% to a 2.0. On the plus side, Warner Bros.'elimiDate led the dating category with a 1.7, up 6% from the week before.