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Syndication Ratings: Sizzling summer start for rookie dating shows

Jun 24, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Dating shows are heating up the summer screens and in turn heating up the rating charts, with each of the genre’s rookie crop nailing a ratings spike, according to Nielsen Media Research, for the week ending June 9.
“Elimidate,” “The Fifth Wheel” and “Shipmates” all benefited from the start of summer break, and young adults flocked to the new relationship strips, with Telepictures Distribution’s “Elimidate” once again taking top honors with a 6 percent climb to a 1.7, equaling the show’s all-time high.
Universal Television’s “The Fifth Wheel” took second among the genre’s freshmen with an 8 percent hike to a 1.4 rating, while Columbia TriStar Domestic Television’s “Shipmates” rose 11 percent to a 1.0.
Also experiencing good news for the week was Buena Vista Television’s “Home Improvement,” which skyrocketed 167 percent in the ratings to a 3.2 score compared with the previous week’s 1.2. That score is good enough to finish in fourth place for the week. The unusual jump comes from the show’s launch on TBS and WGN, which boosted the strip’s clearance level from 69 percent to a 97 percent of the country.
However, a number of series suffered heat stroke, including talk shows. “Martha Stewart Living” and “Ricki Lake” both saw double-digit declines week to week and year to year. “Ricki” slid 16 percent for the week to a 1.6, putting it off pace from last year’s score by 33 percent. “Martha’s” host saw her troubles go beyond the stock market with a 14 percent decline in ratings for her syndicated show, down 20 percent year to year.
The top three series in the genre were relatively unchanged. “The Oprah Winfrey Show” stayed on top, even at a 5.5 and down 10 percent compared with last year. “Live With Regis and Kelly” was unchanged at a 3.3 but regained the No. 2 slot from “Maury,” which dropped 9 percent to a 3.1.