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Nick’s ‘Sponge’ toon soaks up ‘Pokemon’

Cabler ups order to 20 episodes

NEW YORK — Nickelodeon’s new cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants,” has — at least temporarily — unseated the WB’s “Pokemon” as the highest-rated Saturday morning kidshow.

Because of “SpongeBob’s” fast ratings start, Nick has ordered 20 episodes of its new hit. The cabler’s first order was for 13 episodes.

Since “SpongeBob’s” premiere on July 17 at 10 a.m., the program has averaged a 4.9/22 national rating/share (1.9 million viewers) among kids 2-11.

Going head to head against “SpongeBob,” reruns of the WB smash “Pokemon” have averaged a 4.5/20 (1.7 million viewers) in the same group. Prior to the premiere of “SpongeBob,” “Pokemon” had ruled Saturday morning.

“SpongeBob” is the first premiere show Nick has ever run in its Saturday morning lineup. In its second run on Sunday, “SpongeBob” averaged a 4.9/29 national rating/share among kids 2-11.

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