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Syndies warm up in fall

Syndicated viewing levels were rising as the temperatures were falling for
the week ending Oct. 20.

Warmed by a 3 percent rise in HUT (households using
television) levels, veteran game shows, talk shows and off-net sitcoms all benefited from the move indoors.

Veteran game-show
powerhouses Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! hit new season highs.

was up 8 percent to a 9.5 and Jeopardy!, which beat Friends for the first time this season, was up 9
percent to a 7.4.

Also gaining ground was
Hollywood Squares, up 4 percent to a 2.4 although down 8 percent from
last year; and Family Feud, which was up 6 percent to a 1.7.

Two of the top three off-net sitcoms hit new season highs: Seinfeld
gained 12 percent to a 6.6 and Everybody Loves Raymond was up 7 percent
to a 6.1.

The No. 1 off-net sitcom, Friends, was up 3
percent to a 7.0.

Eight of the top 10 talkers gained
ground for the week.

The two downers were
Martha Stewart Living, down 8 percent to a 1.2, and Montel
, down 4
percent to a 2.4.

The gainers were Oprah, up 7
percent to 5.9; Live with Regis and Kelly, up 6 percent to 3.4;
Maury, up 15 percent to a 3.0; Jerry Springer, up 5 percent to a
2.3; Ricki Lake, up 23 percent to a new season high 1.6; Crossing Over
with John Edward
, up 8 percent to a 1.4; and Jenny Jones, also up 8 percent to a 1.4.

The nine new first-run strips were a mixed bag, with four up, three down and
two flat.

Among the rookie talk shows, Dr. Phil was up 2 percent to a 4.4,
John Walsh was down 8 percent to a 1.2, Caroline Rhea was up 10
percent to a 1.1, Rob Nelson was up 11 percent to a 1.0 and Beyond
with James Van Praagh
was flat at a 0.9.

Among the new reality strips, Celebrity Justice, pre-empted in 15 of
the top 50 markets on Columbus Day, was down 14 percent to a 1.2, while Life
was down 11 percent to a

Among the new game shows,
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was up 13 percent to a season-best 2.7, while Pyramid
was unchanged at a 1.7.

Among the rookie off-net strips, Will & Grace, flat at a 4.0, continued to enjoy a
wide lead on the field in its fourth week.

That 70s
was up 6 percent to a 3.3; Dharma & Greg was up 4 percent to
2.4; and The Hughleys was up 8 percent to 1.4, a new high.

New weekly hour Adventure Inc. was up 17 percent
to a best 2.1 in its third week.

She Spies was down 10 percent to a 1.8 in week four, and off-net Providence was flat at a 1.5 in
week three.

Among the rookie half-hour weeklies, The Larry Sanders Show was down
24 percent to a 1.3 in week six and The Chris Matthews Show was up 10
percent to a 1.1, a new high in its fifth week.