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James Hibberd

‘Gladiators’ Stomps ‘Dance War’ Despite Dip

January 8, 2008 11:43 AM

The premiere of NBC’s “American Gladiators” endured a ratings dip compared to its Sunday night debut, yet it still managed to soundly beat the premiere of ABC’s “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann.”

The one-hour “Gladiators” fell 19% to a 4.8 preliminary rating among adults 18 to 49 on Monday night, making the show the highest non-sports program of the evening. The two-hour premiere of the “Dancing With the Stars” spinoff “Dance Wars” posted a 3.0 rating, down 53% from the “Stars” premiere last March.

The spandex vs. leotard faceoff marks the second major clash of new winter strike-schedule programming on NBC and ABC. On Sunday, “Gladiators” bested the preview for “Cashmere Mafia” (although it was beat by an original “Desperate Housewives” during its first hour).

Yet none of the reality competitions compared to Fox’s presentation of the college football BCS Championship game between LSU and Ohio State (7.9). The Bowl Championship Series game helped the network win the night among all key measures, despite being down 25% from last year’s matchup between Ohio State and Florida.

NBC was second, with “Deal or No Deal” (3.6) retaining a sizable amount of its “Gladiators” lead in. At 10 p.m., NBC aired the season premiere of “Medium,” which was down a slight 6% to hit its lowest premiere rating to date, but it came in second place for the hour after Fox’s football game.

CBS was third with comedy repeats and a repeat of “CSI: Miami” (2.8).

ABC was fourth with “Dance Wars” and an original “October Road” (1.8).

The CW was fifth with repeats.


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