The CW’s Sleeping ‘Beauty’
September 19, 2007 11:59 AM
The CW has been in a self-induced ratings coma all summer, intentionally running on a strict repeat diet (burning off “Hidden Palms” doesn’t count) that has resulted in epic-low ratings as they bide their time for fall.
The strategy risks putting The CW back to square one as it tries to establish itself in its sophomore season. If last night’s return to originals with the two-hour premiere of “Beauty and the Geek” is any indication, that’s exactly what happened.
“Beauty” averaged a 1.7 rating among adults 18 to 49 (and a 2.0 among the network’s 18 to 34 target demo) and the network finished in last place for the night.
Those figures match The CW’s first Tuesday of original programming last fall—back when the network’s executives were telling reporters to go easy because viewers didn’t know where to find the channel.
“Beauty” has never aired in the fall before, but compared to January’s “Beauty” premiere, Tuesday night’s edition was down 22 percent among viewers 18 to 49 and down 31 percent in the 18 to 34 demo.
With great buzz on “Reaper” and good buzz on “Aliens in America” and “Gossip Girl,” The CW has some enviable product this fall. But it no longer has the mantra “We launched an entire network in nine months” to fall back on.
As for the rest of the Tuesday ratings field, NBC won the night with “The Biggest Loser” (growing from last week’s premiere to a 3.3). CBS was second with “Power of 10” (1.9) and the season finale of “Big Brother” (3.3, matching its season high). ABC was third with a pair of “Just for Laughs” episodes (1.8 and 2.2) and the special “Elvis: Viva Las Vegas” (1.8). Fox was fourth with repeats.