FX’s ‘Nip’ firms up Sky’s flabby ratings

Skein breaks ratings records with nearly 1 mil viewers

LONDON — “Nip/Tuck,” FX’s edgy plastic-surgery skein, is giving the ratings of BSkyB’s flagship net Sky One a facelift.

The medical drama, about two Florida plastic surgeons, broke ratings records when it debuted on Sky One Tuesday, winning nearly 1 million viewers.

If this showing, helped by heavy promotion, can be sustained, “Nip/Tuck” will help raise the stock of Sky Networks managing director Dawn Airey.

Airey joined BSkyB a year ago to beef up Sky One. But despite hiring one of the U.K.’s most highly regarded commissioners, Channel 4’s Sara Ramsden, to run the channel, Sky has continued to underperform. Ramsden abruptly resigned last fall.

Airey has made it a key part of her strategy to buy hot new U.S. shows and promised Sky One would start to recover once the winter schedule got under way.

“Nip/Tuck” was watched by 950,000 viewers — a 9% share in homes with access to terrestrial, cable and satellite channels — breaking the record set by another U.S. import, “ER,” in 1997, seen by an audience of 741,000.

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