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‘Evil’ apparent in USA’s ratings dip

Cabler hoping to build on demographic spike

NEW YORK — “Touching Evil” is off to a shaky start in the primetime ratings, indicating the USA Network may have stumbled in its attempt to create another original drama to complement “Monk” and “The Dead Zone.”

After getting off to a solid, although slightly disappointing, start in its two-hour premiere March 12 with 3.37 million total viewers, “Touching Evil” has fallen off in each of its three subsequent original episodes. USA schedules it Friday at 10. In those three airings, it averaged nearly 2.3 million viewers.

Pointing to the positives, USA’s researchers said the average household rating for the first four weeks of originals is 122% higher than the show in the time period during the same period last year. But that show was reruns of “Monk,” whose Nielsens fall off dramatically from their original plays.

USA has commissioned 13 hours of “Touching Evil” and is hoping the show can build on the demographic spike it delivered from the third to the fourth week. Among adults 18-49, the show went up from 776,000 to 1.21 million. In adults 25-54, it picked up from 1.078 million to 1.311 million.

Based on the British series about a detective who is radically changed by a near-death experience, “Touching Evil” comes from Cheyenne Prods. and USA Cable Entertainment. Executive producers are Bruce Willis, Arnold Rifkin, Allen Hughes, Albert Hughes, Robert Palm and Anthony Root. Rachel Talalay and Michael Angeli also are listed as exec producers.