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Syndie's Late-Spring Doldrums

With pre-emptions for coverage of the death and funeral services of former President Ronald Reagan, ratings were lower for most syndicated shows in the week ending June 13. Although Nielsen Media Research helped shows by not including pre-empted markets in ratings averages, many syndies still lost ground from the prior week.

The top off-net sitcoms were hit especially hard, with all of the top three registering new season-lows. Sony's Seinfeld slid 14% to a 5.0, Warner Bros.' Friends fell 8% to 4.7, and King World's Everybody Loves Raymond eased 8% to a 4.6. Compared to last year at this time, Seinfeld was down 21%, Friends was off 22% and Raymond was behind by 18%.
Among game shows, King World's Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! hit new season lows for the second week in a row. Wheel slipped 8% from the prior week to a 6.9 and tumbled 13% from last year, while Jeopardy! declined 5% to a 5.8, losing 11% from last year. In third place, Buena Vista's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire held steady at a 3.4, up 6% year-to-year.
Elsewhere, although none of the top-five daytime shows were higher, a few of the magazines saw increases. Paramount's Entertainment Tonight, the top-rated magazine, was up 2% to a 4.6. King World's Inside Edition, in second place, was unchanged at a 3.2.
In third place, NBC Universal's Access Hollywood was up 17% to a 2.8, after hitting a season low the prior week. Warner Bros.' Extra!, in fourth, was down 4% to a 2.3 and Warner Bros.' Celebrity Justice was down 8% to a 1.1.
On the weekend, several of the weekly hours saw sharp increases after getting pounded by Reagan coverage the prior week. The number-one weekly hour, Paramount's ET Weekend, surged 35% to a 3.1. Twentieth's The Practice rose 11% to 2.0, while Paramount's fifth place Unexplained Mysteries levitated 13% to 1.7.
NBC Universal's Access Hollywood Weekend rocketed 67% to 1.5 and landed in a four-way tie for seventh place with Warner Bros.' Extra! Weekend, NBC/MGM's She Spies and Sony's Walker Texas Ranger.