UPN’s cops on ‘The Beat’ gain Tuesday viewership

Skein improves average by 40%, 'Family' vs. 'God' heats up

The Barry Levinson/Tom Fontana police drama “The Beat” premiered Tuesday to moderate Nielsen ratings, bringing more viewers to UPN but failing to make any real demo gains.

“The Beat,” which patrols the tough Tuesday at 9 neighborhood, improved on UPN’s time-period average by 40% in total viewers (2.95 million vs. 2.2 million) and by 45% over its lead-in, “Secret Agent Man” (2.03 million).

Among adults 18-49, though, “The Beat” skewed older by UPN standards. Its 18-49 rating of 0.9 is up only slightly from the time period’s average with regular programming (0.8) and also a tick better than “Secret Agent” (0.8). (The netlet has run comedies and drama “The Strip” in the slot for most of the season.)

It did especially well in some of the nation’s biggest markets, including a 4.9/7 households rating in New York, where the show is set.

While the numbers aren’t great, they represent decent debut numbers on what has been UPN’s weakest night.

‘Toons step up

Elsewhere, the 8:30 p.m. battle of cartoon comedies — Fox’s “Family Guy” vs. NBC’s “God, the Devil and Bob” — became a bit more competitive this week. “Family” (6.97 million viewers) still topped “God” (5.96 million) by 1 million viewers but this week enjoyed only a 10% advantage among adults 18-49. Last week, “Family” topped “God” by 21% in the key demo.

“Family Guy” won by 4 shares in adults 18-34 and by 12 shares among teens.

Both ceded ground this week to ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (29.80 million, 10.3/28 in A18-49), which rebounded after a few sub-par ratings perfs to match its best adults 18-49 score since Feb. 13. In its 8:30 half-hour, “Millionaire” drew an astounding 32.46 million viewers and an adults 18-49 rating of 11.6/30.

ABC easily won the night in both total viewers and all key demos.

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