It’s veterans’ day

Newbies take a hit on first Weds. of season

This article was updated at 6:08 p.m.

The opening Wednesday of the season was kind to returning series but cruel to newbies, as NBC and ABC dominated the evening.

NBC won its second straight premiere Wednesday among young adults with strong bows from “Ed,” “The West Wing” and “Law & Order,” while ABC was just a tick back behind expanded openers of “My Wife and Kids” and “The Bachelor.”

On the down side, CBS drama “The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.” was a bust in its bow and UPN drama “Jake 2.0” is looking shaky after declining again in its third week.

NBC’s 6.0/17 in adults 18-49 edged out ABC’s 5.9/16, with the Alphabet just missing its first taste of victory on a premiere Wednesday since the days of “Grace Under Fire” and “Ellen” in 1996.

Powerful pair

ABC received strong opening-week perfs from an hourlong “My Wife and Kids” (5.8/17 in adults 18-49, 13.61 million viewers overall) and a two-hour preem for the latest edition of reality skein “The Bachelor” (6.0/16 in adults 18-49, 12.55m).

“Bachelor” remains potent despite declines, placing second to NBC among adults 18-49 in each half-hour while prevailing among the more narrow 18-34 crowd. New drama “Karen Sisco” bows in the 10 o’clock hour next week.

NBC’s “Ed” (4.1/12 in 18-49, 10.72m) improved on its year-ago premiere and placed a solid second at 8, while “West Wing” (6.2/16 in 18-49, 18.32m) led the 9 o’clock hour outright in 18-49 for the first time in nearly a year. After slumping badly last season, “Wing” showed some ratings spunk, improving by 32% on its season finale in May (4.7/11) and attracting its largest overall aud in 18 months.

“Law & Order” closed with a powerful perf, ranking as the highest-rated program of the early season in 18-49 through three nights (7.6/20). It also drew its largest total-viewer count for a season premiere (20.86m) in the show’s 14-year history.

‘Big’ slide

CBS, third in both 18-49 and 25-54, was led by the finale of “Big Brother 4,” whose third-place 4.2/11 in adults 18-49 was on par with its recent scores but well below last year’s finale, which also aired during premiere week (5.6/14).

At 10, David E. Kelley drama “Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 8.3m) ran a distant third in the hour in 18-49, coming in below the preem of the short-lived “Presidio Med” and “Wolf Lake” in the hour the past two years.

CBS now has shown double-digit losses on each of the first three nights of the season. Fox, UPN and the WB all joined the Eye in posting significant year-to-year losses Wednesday.

Poor ‘Perf’

Fox, out of the game with a two-hour edition of “Performing As” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 6.61m), finished fourth.

At UPN, “Star Trek: Enterprise” was up another tick in 18-34 in its third week (1.5/5), but lead-out “Jake 2.0” edged down another tick (0.8/2).

The WB ran sixth with a Hilary Duff spec and a repeat of Tuesday drama “One Tree Hill.” Net’s Wednesday lineup bows next week.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety