×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Smallville’ bow super for the WB

Skein draws the best preem numbers in netlet's history

Young Superman tale “Smallville” proved to be more powerful than a locomotive Tuesday, premiering to some of the best ratings in the WB net’s seven-year history.

Tuesday also saw continued boffo ratings for the CBS dramas, more good news for rookie laffers “Undeclared” (Fox) and “Scrubs” (NBC), and slight improvement for a beleaguered ABC.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the 68-minute premiere of the critically acclaimed “Smallville” (9-10:08 p.m.) attracted the largest audience ever for a series preem on the WB (8.35 million viewers) — outdrawing ABC’s comedies and Fox’s “Love Cruise” to finish third for the hour.

It also bagged the best 18-49 rating for a Frog net series premiere (3.8/9) as well as the best score for any episode of any series in the WB’s history among adults 18-34 (4.5/12), men 18-34 (5.0/14) and men 18-49 (3.9/10).

Testosterone boost

The strong male demos are especially encouraging for the heavily femme Frog net.

“Smallville” won its hour in demos such as persons 12-34 (4.4/12), men 18-34 (5.0/14) and teens (4.1/15), growing through its broadcast.

Net’s “Gilmore Girls” (5.99m, 2.4/6) also did well, improving in several categories from its strong season preem a week earlier.

CBS won the night in adults 25-54 for a second consecutive week (5.6/13) and tied for second with NBC in 18-49 (4.4/11), just 1 share behind first-place Fox (4.6/12). Net also continued its domination on the night in total viewers, with each drama winning its hour.

Despite increased drama competition from “Smallville,” rookie hit “The Guardian” drew the largest aud since its premiere (15.08m) and was second to NBC’s comedies in adults 25-54 (4.9/11). “JAG” (17.27m), the most-watched show of the night, and “Judging Amy” (season-high 16.06m) both topped their hours in 25-54, with “Amy” also winning in 18-49 (4.8/12).

Fox received strong ratings for its Tuesday comedies “That ’70s Show” (10.27m, 5.5/15 in 18-49) and “Undeclared” (8.49m, 4.8/12), both of which won their slots in 18-49 and 18-34. “Undeclared” has held onto 90% or more of its lead-in every week.

Fox clinched the night in 18-49 — its first Tuesday victory of the season — when reality skein “Love Cruise” wrapped with the best numbers of its seven-seg run (7.26m, 4.1/10 in 18-49).

‘Scrubs’ cleans up

NBC’s “Scrubs” (12.71m, 5.8/14 in 18-49) also continues to look good, retaining 92% of its “Frasier” 18-49 lead-in (5.8 vs. 6.3) and 94% in 18-34 (4.7 vs. 5.0). It won its half-hour in 18-49 for a third straight week.

But the Peacock’s “Emeril” fell to new lows in its fourth outing (6.70m, 2.6/7 in 18-49), dropping 8 shares behind Fox’s ” ’70s Show” in 18-49.

ABC’s revamped lineup improved by 9% week to week in both 18-49 and total viewers but remained fourth in the demo. “Spin City” (7.68m, 3.9/9 in 18-49) pulled ABC to within 6 shares of comedy rival “Frasier” (down from last week’s 9-share disadvantage with “Bob Patterson”), and in the less competitive 9:30 slot, “Bob” (7.18m, 3.3/8) improved vs. the previous week.

At 10, “Philly” added viewers week to week (to 9.30m), but declined another tick in 18-49 (to 3.7/9).

UPN’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (6.03m, 2.8/8 in 18-49) improved week to week, topping the WB’s “Gilmore Girls” (5.99m, 2.4/6). “Buffy” got the best of the weblet war in 18-34 (3.5/10 vs. 2.8/8), with “Gilmore” doing better among women (3.9 vs. 3.7) and “Buffy” better among men (3.3 vs. 1.7).

But at 9, UPN’s “Roswell” (3.03m, 1.2/3 in 18-49) clearly felt the effects of “Smallville,” slipping 29% week to week in 18-49.

More TV

  • Jimmy Kimmel government shutdown

    Jimmy Kimmel Sets Live Classic Sitcom Special for May on ABC

    Jimmy Kimmel’s long-gestating live sitcom special is finally coming to fruition. Kimmel announced Thursday night on his ABC late-night show that the special, which was first announced in May 2017, will air Wednesday, May 22, from 8-9:30 p.m. ET. The special will see a cast of celebrity guests recreating two classic episodes of the sitcoms [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92 Percent of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92 percent of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of [...]

  • The Village

    NBC Swaps Timeslots of Freshman Drama 'The Village,' 'The Voice' on Tuesdays

    NBC is changing the timeslots of Tuesday shows “The Voice” and “The Village.” Up to this point, freshman scripted drama “The Village” has aired at 9 p.m. ET Tuesdays immediately after “The Voice” at 8 p.m. Beginning April 23, “The Village” will air at 8 followed by “The Voice” at 9. The schedule will remain [...]

  • Donald Trump

    HBO Fires Back at Trump's 'Game of Thrones'-Inspired 'No Collusion' Tweet

    HBO is firing back at President Donald Trump after he sent another “Game of Thrones”-inspired tweet in response to the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation. “Though we can understand the enthusiasm for ‘Game of Thrones’ now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer [...]

  • Joel Edgerton Headshot

    Joel Edgerton Joins Barry Jenkins' 'Underground Railroad' Amazon Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joel Edgerton has signed on for a role in the Barry Jenkins’ Amazon series “The Underground Railroad,” Variety has learned exclusively. Edgerton will play the part of Ridgeway, a slavecatcher. He joins previously announced cast members Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon, and Aaron Pierre. The role will mark Edgerton’s first regular TV role in some time. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content