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Syndie Insider - Broadcasting & Cable

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Is Martha's Goose Cooked?

King World's Martha Stewart Living
felt the first effects of being dropped by the Viacom station group. For the week ended March 14, with coverage down from 89% to 61% of the country, Nielsen "broke out" the show from the national ratings. The show averaged a 0.7, off 36% from the prior week. The show averaged a 0.7 rating over five days, down 36% from the prior week, Nielsen says. Overall, the show lost 420,000 households for the week. The breakout days will not be included in the show's season average.

Cheap Dates

Universal's Blind Date
and The 5th Wheel
remained a hit with younger men on WWOR, Fox's UPN affiliate in New York, during February sweeps. Blind Date
finished first in key younger-male demos in its midnight time slot and the 10 p.m.-2 a.m. period. It scored a 4.0 rating/22 share in men 18-34 and 2.5/14 in men 18-49, producing triple-digit share gains from its Drew Carey
lead-in and the station's best February-sweeps time-period showing among young men since 1990. It was the station's best performer all day among young men.

The 5th Wheel
tied with Conan O'Brien
for first among men 18-49 in the 1-1:30 a.m. half hour, garnering a 1.4/16 and delivering WWOR's strongest February performance in the time slot since 1996.

Frasier's Lifetime Commitment

Lifetime tied the knot with Frasier
last week, nabbing off-net rights to the sitcom from Paramount Domestic Television. The show ends its 11-season run on NBC later this year and will debut on Lifetime in March 2006. But Frasier
isn't coming cheap.

Lifetime is paying about $600,000 per episode, plus Paramount is keeping 11/2 minutes of advertising in the show, which could drive the value to more than $1 million.

With 264 episodes available, the cable deal will bring Paramount about $300 million. That makes it the second-richest cable-syndication deal for a sitcom after Seinfeld, which TBS Superstation picked up for more than $1 million per episode, not including barter time.

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