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2 items from 2003

Fox banks on next 'Idol' for sked revival

17 December 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

On paper, the strategy sounded like a home run: Promote the heck out of the return of last season's reality sensation and the bow of a provocative new drama during the World Series to help kick-start the baseball-delayed launch of the bulk of the Fox Broadcasting Co.'s fall lineup. And when this year's baseball League Championship Series and World Series between the New York Yankees and Florida Marlins turned out to be the most-watched postseason games in years, Fox looked poised to capitalize on the captive audience for their promos with the premiere of The Next Joe Millionaire and Skin on Oct. 20, the Monday after the conclusion of the LCS. But just as LCS combatants Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox weren't destined to play in the World Series this year, Joe Millionaire and Skin were not destined for ratings glory at Fox. There was genuine surprise in the executive suites when the first overnight ratings reports came in, Fox entertainment president Gail Berman admitted. »

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CBS tops Mon. viewers race; NBC takes key demo

26 November 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

A 90-minute edition of Fear Factor propelled NBC to a rare nightly win on the final Monday of the November sweep, which ends Wednesday. A family-themed edition of the gross-out reality show even topped CBS' 9 p.m. tentpole Everybody Loves Raymond in the key adults 18-49 demo, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. The finale of Fox's The Next Joe Millionaire delivered that show's highest marks yet, but it was still a distant fourth in its time slot. Fear Factor brought in 15.2 million viewers and 6.5 rating/16 share for NBC from 8-9:30 p.m., peaking in the final half-hour (15.7 million, 6.8/16) against CBS' Raymond (19 million, 5.8/14). CBS was back on top from 9:30-11 p.m. with sitcom Two and a Half Men (17.1 million, 5.6/13) and the night's most-watched program, CSI: Miami (19.8 million, 6.7/17). An elongated 9:30-11 p.m. edition of NBC's new matchmaking reality show Average Joe (10 million, 5.0/12) did respectable numbers against its Big Three competition. »

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