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Friendly week

Aug 12, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Fair-weather “Friends” and hot relationships fueled syndicated ratings for the week ending July 28. According to Nielsen Media Research, “Friends” once again took second place among all syndicated shows in households. In the game/relationship genre, “Elimidate” soared to another season high.
For the second time in the past seven weeks, Warner Bros.’ “Friends” supplanted “Jeopardy” as the nation’s second-highest-rated syndicated show as the off-network series rose 5 percent to a 6.4 rating. That bested “Jeopardy’s” 6.1, a slide of 12 percent week to week and down 16 percent from the same period last year.
Overall, game shows had a rough outing during the week with every strip in the genre but one off by double digits vs. last year. Leader “Wheel of Fortune” was the lone holdout, slipping 5 percent to a 7.7 for the week and down 7 percent vs. 2001. “Hollywood Squares” was up 8 percent for the week to a 2.6 but remained down from last year’s score by 19 percent. Tribune’s “Family Feud” is down 12 percent year to year to a 2.2 (although only a dip of 4 percent for the week) while Telepictures’ “Street Smarts” was unchanged for the week at a 1.4 but was off 22 percent for the year.
Among relationship shows, Telepictures’ “Elimidate” continued to trend upward, scoring a 1.9, a jump of 6 percent. That number is up 90 percent over its debut last fall, giving the series a season high and marking the first time the series has taken sole possession of second place among rookie series. Its 1.9 rating was a tenth of a point behind freshman leader “Texas Justice” and bested “Crossing Over” and “Weakest Link’s” 1.8 score.
Among other relationship series, “Blind Date” was off 10 percent for the week to a 1.9 while “Change of Heart” was even at a 1.4.
Among newsmagazines, Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” grew 6 percent to a 5.3, King World’s “Inside Edition” was unchanged at a 3.0, “Extra” rose 4 percent to a 2.5 and “Access Hollywood” was even at a 2.3.