Older auds nix crix

The WB tapped into some nostalgia on Thursday, as the series premiere of the net’s “Family Affair” remake received solid sampling from auds despite lousy critical notices.

“Family Affair,” the first of the new series on the broadcast nets to bow this fall, averaged 4.55 million viewers for its one-hour preem, according to Nielsen — a 64% improvement over the start for the short-lived “Popstars” in the same 8 p.m. hour last fall.

The WB was hoping to attract a new generation of “Family Affair” fans, but its preem drew more older adults than anticipated.

In a rarity for a Frog program, “Family Affair” delivered a higher rating in both adults 18-49 (1.6/5) and adults 25-54 (1.8/5) than adults 18-34 (1.3/4). Net would like to see more younger adults, teens and kids tune in.

“Family Affair,” the first series for Turner Television, will air regularly at 8, followed by another new half-hour comedy, “Do Over,” which bows this week.

Thursday also saw the official season premieres of two of the night’s staples: UPN’s “WWE Smackdown” and ABC’s “Primetime.”

The fourth season preem of “Smackdown” delivered the wrestling program’s largest aud since April (6.25 million) and best rating since March in adults 18-49 (2.8/8), topping “Family Affair” from 8 to 9. Still, “Smackdown” was down about 10% from its August 2001 season premiere.

At 10, “Primetime” (10.31m, 3.6/10 in 18-49) delivered ABC’s best non-sports demos in the hour since April. Newsmag featured Claire Shipman’s interview with a woman who says she was Saddam Hussein’s mistress on and off for 30 years.

And on Saturday, the 14th season premiere of “Cops” on Fox averaged a 2.6/9 in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen prelims, just behind timeslot leader “Big Brother” on CBS (2.7/10). It was off by 8% from its premiere last season, when it didn’t face any original programming.

At 9, the 15th season preem of Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” won its hour in most key measures, including adults 18-49 (prelim 3.0/10) — off by 14% vs. last year’s opener.

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