Elimidate tops syndies

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The fresh breeze in a week of summer doldrums for syndicated shows was
provided by Elimidate, the only syndicated offering to hit a personal
best for the week ended July 28.

Elimidate's 1.9 Nielsen Media Research rating, up 6 percent from the
prior week, was good enough for a tie with usual dating leader, Blind
, which was down 10 percent from the previous week. Elimidate is
up 90 percent over its September debut.

The other two rookie dating shows -- Fifth Wheel at a 1.4 and
Shipmates at a 1.0 -- were unchanged from the previous week.

By contrast with Elimidate, most of the game and dating shows were
soft. All of those shows that were on the air last season were down year to year
by double digits except top show, Wheel of Fortune, which was only down 7
percent to a still-enviable 7.7. Week to week, Wheel was down 5

For the second time in the past seven weeks, Jeopardy! was out of the
No. 2 spot among all syndicated shows, beaten again by Friends. At a 6.1,
Jeopardy! was down 16 percent from last year and down 12 percent from
last week.

Meanwhile, Friends, the top off-net sitcom, was up 5 percent from last
week to a 6.4.

In other game action, Hollywood Squares was up 8 percent from the
previous week to a 2.6, but down 19 percent year to year.

Family Feud was down 12 percent from last year to a 2.2, and down 4
percent week to week.

Street Smarts was down 22 percent from last year to a 1.4, unchanged from
the prior week.

Among the veteran dating shows, Blind Date was down 21 percent from
last year at a 1.9 and down 10 percent from last week.

Change of Heart was down 30 percent year to year to a 1.4, unchanged from
the prior week.