E!’s ‘Anna’ is king in basic cable debut

Reality series pulls in 4 million viewers

E! Entertainment Television’s Sunday premiere of “The Anna Nicole Show” marked the second-highest-rated debut of any series on basic cable in history, second only to USA Network’s recent preem of “The Dead Zone.”

“Anna,” the highly promoted reality series that follows the day-to-day exploits of Anna Nicole Smith, drew a 4.1 household rating in E!’s universe, according to final national ratings info released by Nielsen Tuesday.

The rating perf for the series means more than 4 million viewers tuned into the show.

Perf also repped the highest cable household rating earned by a reality series debut in basic cable, beating even “The Osbournes” on MTV in March.

“The Osbournes,” however, was considered particularly successful because its viewership grew during the course of its season.

The next episode of “Anna” airs Sunday.

“Anna’s” perf gave E! its highest rating ever in households and in the adult 18-34 demo.

“The buzz surrounding ‘The Anna Nicole Show’ prior to the launch was palpable,” said Mindy Herman, prexy-CEO of E! Networks.

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