‘Toughman’ pumps FX

Preem tops night among basic-cable shows

NEW YORK — While Viacom’s TNN prepares to catch a Nielsen rocket ride in September when it begins airing four hours a week of WWF wrestling, News Corp.’s FX is already rocking from the effect of the season premiere of “Toughman 2000” on June 23.

In cable homes, the special two-hour “Toughman” stunt chalked up a 1.76 rating — a 17% jump over results for the episode that kicked off the show’s rookie season a year ago. It finished first among all basic-cable shows for the night among men 18-34, with a 1.96 rating, and among men 18-49, with a 1.8 rating.

“We stunted by putting former pro-football players in the boxing ring against pro wrestlers,” said Chuck Saftler, VP of programming and acquisitions for FX and one of the executive producers of “Toughman 2000.”

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