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Syndie Insider

Ambush Makeover Starts This Month

Twentieth Television will launch first-run show Ambush Makeover at the end of June. In it, teams of makeover artists stop people on the street and make them over on the spot. "The back-stories and the reaction to them revealed are as much fun as the makeovers themselves and will involve viewers from the fast-paced, beat-the-clock beginning to the ending drama," said Bob Cook, president and chief operating officer of Twentieth. The strip will get a slow rollout on selected Fox owned-and-operated stations. It is produced by Banyan Productions in association with Twentieth.

BVT Names Oldre Veep

Chris Oldre was named senior vice president of the eastern region for Buena Vista Television. Based in New York, Oldre will oversee BVT's New York and Eastern regional sales forces as well as supervise all East Coast syndication sales. Previously, he was vice president of eastern region sales. He has been at BVT since 1995, starting as an account executive in the central region.

Bad Week for Syndies

Syndicated shows dropped significantly in the week ended June 1, as the May sweeps came to a close and viewers jumped to cable. Households watching broadcast TV in most dayparts fell by an average of 543,000 viewers compared with the prior week, while cable-TV households rose by an average of 1.97 million viewers. A few talk shows and first-runs bucked the downtrend, while none of the major court, game, relationship and magazine shows or off-net sitcoms grew from the prior week.

Universal's Crossing Over With John Edward
had the week's biggest increase among the talkers, gaining 18% to 1.3, its highest rating in 13 weeks. The other veteran talk show to increase was Sony's Ricki Lake, rising 12% to 1.9. Losing ground were King World's The Oprah Winfrey Show, down 5% to 6.0; Buena Vista's Live With Regis and Kelly, down 8% to 3.6; Universal's Maury, down 3% to 3.2; Universal's The Jerry Springer Show, down 4% to 2.5; and Paramount's Montel Williams, down 4% to 2.4. The winners among the high-profile rookie strips included NBC Enterprises'The John Walsh Show, gaining 8% to 1.4, and Warner Bros.' Celebrity Justice, growing 8% to 1.3 in mostly late-night slots.