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‘Toughman’ scores big for FX

New amateur boxing show knocks out competitors in its time slot

NEW YORK — Pro wrestling on USA, TNT and TBS may be getting a new rival. The weekly hourlong “Toughman World Championship Series” on Rupert Murdoch’s FX cable network chalked up a gaudy 1.5 rating in cable homes for Friday’s premiere.

The 1.5 rating, which translated into 601,000 FX households, ended up 2-1/2 times as high as the 0.6 rating average for the March until mid-July occupant of the 10 p.m. time period, “Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular.”

In July 1998, FX also averaged only a 0.6 rating in cable homes with two half-hour series: reruns of “In Living Color” and the original “Bobcat’s Big Ass Show.” FX has since canceled the “Bobcat” series.

More significant than the household numbers of the “Toughman” cablecast, according to FX, was the show’s rating among men 18-49, which averaged a 1.8, elevating it to No. 1 in the time period among all cable networks in this demographic. “Toughman” also beat all other cable networks among men 18-34 in the timeslot.

“Toughman” features three-round slugfests (one minute for each round) among amateur boxers in arenas through the U.S.

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