People ‘Watching’ dips

Skein wins timeslot, despite 28% drop

HOLLYWOOD — NBC’s new Julia Louis-Dreyfus skein suffered some serious shrinkage in its second outing, while UPN’s new Tuesday laffers gave the netlet little to smile about.

“Watching Ellie” (5.1 rating/13 share in adults 18-49, 12.03 million viewers) dropped 28% in both viewers and demos vs. its week-ago premiere in the 8:30 p.m. Tuesday slot, according to Nielsen. That’s worse than nets like to see from second-week numbers, though “Ellie” had an unusually strong premiere.

Despite the dropoff, the “Ellie” performance was good enough to win the time period in adults 18-49 and allow the Peacock to place second in viewers behind CBS’ “JAG” (3.6/10, 15.46m for the 8-9 p.m. hour). As long as the show doesn’t dip too much more in the next few weeks, NBC execs will have reason to be satisfied.

UPN programmers, however, had no reason for hope after the debut of laffers “As If” (0.9/2, 1.77 million) and “The Random Years” (0.7/2, 1.4 million). De-spite heavy promotion, both on UPN and on radio, skeins fell well below what UPN had been averaging in the timeslot with “Roswell” (1.3/4 adults 18-49).

Both skeins were developed and greenlit before Dawn Ostroff took over as UPN Entertainment prexy.

Meanwhile, the return of ABC comedies “Dharma & Greg” (2.6/7, 7.01m) and “Spin City” (3.1/8, 7.09m) to the 8-9 p.m. slot didn’t help the Alphabet at all. Both shows tumbled to their worse adults 18-49 numbers with regular episodes.

Overall on Tuesday, CBS won the night in total viewers, while NBC nabbed the crown in adults 18-49.

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