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Ratings ups and downs for sci-fi

While 'Tin Man' sets records, 'Heroes' falls

It was a good news/bad news week for NBC Universal’s geekcentric programming, as Sci Fi Channel miniseries “Tin Man” chalked up record highs but once-hot Peacock drama “Heroes” concluded its latest season with a yawn.

“Tin Man,” Sci Fi’s far-out miniseries adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz,” chalked up an average of 5.3 million total viewers for the six hours running Sunday through Tuesday nights, making it the most-watched mini in the net’s 15-year history.

Sci Fi’s researchers said that of those 5.3 million viewers, 55% were adults 25-54, the network’s demo target, and 50% were women — an unusually high proportion for a network that usually skews more male than female.

“Tin Man” beat such previous Sci Fi Channel miniseries hits as “Stephen Spielberg Presents ‘Taken'” and “Frank Herbert’s Dune.”

But while folks at NBC U’s cable division were over the rainbow at the “Tin Man” perf, folks at the broadcast division had to be bummed at the numbers for the “Heroes” fall finale (which may well end up as the season finale if the WGA strike drags on).

After Nielsen foul-ups caused a delay in reporting Monday’s ratings, the measurement service Tuesday said this week’s episode of “Heroes” averaged a 5 rating/11 share in the key 18-49 demo.

That’s down from the previous week’s episode (which notched a 5.3), as well as the show’s 2007 season-to-date average (5.9/13). More troubling, it marked a big decline from the show’s previous finales.

Skein notched a 7.2/16 with its March 5 spring finale. In May, its season finale averaged a 6.8/16.

While Monday’s “Heroes” easily won its 9 p.m. timeslot, the lack of momentum in recent weeks indicates that auds may not have been satisfied with the show’s creative changes. Series creator Tim Kring has publicly admitted that the show stumbled at the start of the season but insisted that he’d corrected course.

On the positive tip for the Peacock: Hot frosh “Chuck” continues to perform nicely, closing out the first half of its season Monday by winning the 8 p.m. timeslot with a solid 3.2/8. At 10 p.m., however, a special Monday episode of “Life” (2.4/6) fumbled away half of its lead-in and performed no better than the struggling “Journeyman” in the slot.

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