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Early bows fire up UPN Monday laff lineup

'Moesha,' 'Parkers' help lift net to good Monday ratings

UPN’s strategy of early-season premieres has paid off, with its Monday comedy block continuing to gain momentum.

According to Nielsen overnights, UPN’s Monday laffers averaged a 4.1/7, led by the season bows of “Moesha” (4.3/7) and “The Parkers” (4.4/7) — the netlet’s best showing in the Monday overnights since February and a 17% improvement over its 1999-2000 season average (3.5/5).

“Moesha” was on par with last year’s premiere (4.4/7), which aired in late August, and up 10% from its Labor Day telecast of a year ago (4.3/7 vs. 3.9/6).

UPN showed big gains on Monday last season with its shift to African-American comedies, up 47% in viewers and 40% in adults 18-49 compared with the 1998-99 season. Monday’s laffers may have benefited from a strong promotional platform via last Tuesday’s “Source Hip-Hop Awards,” which delivered UPN’s highest-rated Tuesday audience in Nielsen’s metered markets (5.5/9) since December 1997.

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