September 28, 1999

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - With ``Hercules'' leaving the air in December and ``Xena'' losing some strength, several new syndicated action shows are duking it out in hopes of capturing the attention of the loincloth and breastplate crowd.

``Peter Benchley's Amazon'' was the top rookie this week, landing a preliminary 2.4 rating, 6 household share over the weekend, up 4% from its lead-in and 26% from its year-ago time period average. ``Relic Hunter,'' starring Tia Carrere, bowed with a 2.3/6, off 12% from its lead-in, but up 15% from last year's time period average. The other weekly syndicated action show to debut this week, ``The Dream Team,'' with Roger Moore, pulled in a less-than-stellar 1.4/3.

Last year, only two debut action hours managed to survive for a second season: ``VIP,'' with Pamela Anderson Lee, and ``Stargate SG-1,'' bowing with a 2.5/6 and 3.3/8, respectively. No other rookie was able to break the 2.0 barrier. Next week, ``Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's the Lost World'' will bow, followed by ``Beastmaster'' the week after.

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