‘Line’ hooks auds for ABC

'Star Trek' takes plunge

ABC on Thursday rewarded its summer series “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” with an order for extra 13 episodes after the Drew Carey-hosted improv gameshow scored a resounding victory in the Wednesday battle of British imports, dominating NBC’s animated “Stressed Eric” in Aug. 19 Nielsens.

“Whose Line,” from Warner Bros. TV, delivered an 8.1 rating/13 share in homes and a 6.5/18 in adults 18-49, building on its 18-49 lead-in from “Drew Carey” by 12%. That same half-hour, “Eric” fell to a 4.6/8 in homes and a 3.0/8 in adults 18-49, repping a 29% falloff from its 18-49 lead-in.

That’s more than double “Eric’s” premiere-week 14% decline vs. lead-in. The hit numbers from “Whose Line” helped ABC beat NBC for the night by 2 shares in homes and 5 shares in adults 18-49.

In its three airings, “Whose Line” has averaged a 6.5/19 among adults 18-49 and 12 million total viewers, and it has improved the summer timeslot average among young adults by 96%. The extra-13 episode order brings the total episode number to 19, and “Whose Line” will likely be one of the first midseason shows tapped if something fails this fall.

Wednesday night on the weblet side, UPN’s “Star Trek: Voyager” eroded to its lowest-ever orbit, a 1.8/3 in households. Rival WB, meanwhile, earned its highest Wednesday average since May, a 2.8/5.

Each household rating point represents an estimated 980,000 homes, or 1% of the country’s TV households. Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.23 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. A share is the same sort of percentage, except it measures only the homes or viewers watching TV during the timeslot involved.

Separately, Fox on Thursday announced that the premiere of its upcoming drama “Brimstone” has been pushed back to Oct. 27, after the World Series, and the summer reality series “Guinness World Records” will air in the Tuesday 9 p.m. timeslot from Oct. 6 until Oct. 20.

Fox also announced “The X-Files” season premiere won’t be until Nov. 8, and the film “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” will receive its broadcast and pre-pay-cable premiere on Nov. 1.

Fox has still made no decision on what will replace “Hollyweird” Thursdays at 9 p.m., but inside persons say the newsmag Fox Files will likely remain there for at least a few weeks this fall. “Guinness” could slide into the Thursday timeslot after “Brimstone” premieres.

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