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WB’s ‘Pokemon’ pulls in kids

Premiere episode highest rated since Sept. 1997

The “Pokemon” phenomenon continues to explode on Saturday mornings, with a Sept. 4 season premiere episode that’s captured the highest kids 2-11 rating for any Saturday morning telecast since September 1997.

Earning a 7.8 rating/31 share in the 2-11 demo, that “Pokemon” seg boosted the Kids WB team to a record Saturday ayem average of 4.3/20.

That was enough to top the competition on Nickelodeon (a national 4.1/19), Fox (3.4/16), ABC (2.3/12), UPN (1.4/8) and CBS (0.5/13). The WB led Saturday kid results while airing in 91% of the country, and Nickelodeon was a close second despite being available in just 75% of the country’s TV homes.

“Pokemon’s” 7.8/31 is the highest single-program rating in the four-year history of Kids WB. The telecast outscored Nickelodeon’s “Spongebob Squarepants” (5.1/21 among kids 2-11), which has at times challenged “Pokemon’s” Saturday leadership since premiering in July.

The Kids WB sked is rallying at an opportune time, as the nets roll out their new fall Saturday-a.m. lineups over the next several weekends.

In Aug. 30-Sept. 3 daytime results, ABC nipped CBS in women 18-49, with a 2.4/19 vs. CBS’ 2.3/18. NBC trailed with a 1.5/12, though its nine-week-old soap “Passions” earned the week’s top daytime rating among female teens (1.3/14).

Each rating point represents 1% of the audience being measured, while the share is a percentage calculated against only those viewers watching TV during the timeslot involved.