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‘Amish’ Opens Big

Jul 29, 2004  •  Post A Comment

UPN’s much-anticipated reality show “Amish in the City” had a big July 28 two-hour premiere, pulling in 5.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research preliminary ratings. “Amish,” which takes five young Amish adults and puts them in a house in the Los Angeles hills with six young adults from the modern world, scored UPN’s best Wednesday night delivery in more than two years in adults 18 to 34, adults 18 to 49 and total viewers.

UPN had a second-place finish from 8-10 p.m. in adults 18 to 34 (2.2/8) and adults 18 to 49 (2.4/7), second only to Fox. “Amish” outperformed UPN’s Wednesday night 2003-04 season average by 120 percent in adults 18 to 34, 100 percent in adults 18 to 49 and 83 percent in total viewers.

“Amish” had been under scrutiny long before it aired. After early controversial buzz, UPN kept production under wraps. But after announcing the show would air this summer, one local affiliate and a Pennsylvania Republican congressman who represents Amish-heavy Lancaster County demanded to see the pilot. UPN refused, which helped drive media scrutiny as to whether the show was exploiting young Amish adults who had no understanding of reality television.