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‘Sopranos’ on A&E Sets Ratings Record

Jan 11, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Bada-Bing! Even without naked strippers, the first episode of “The Sopranos” drew 4.27 million viewers on A&E Wednesday night, making it the highest rated premiere for an off-network show ever on cable television.

A&E made a huge bet on “The Sopranos,” paying a record $2.5 million per episode for the award-winning HBO mob series. That bet, and an aggressive promotional campaign, might pay off. According to the first figures from Nielsen Media Research, the premiere episode attracted 1.94 million adults aged 25-54, in line what the network was guaranteeing its advertisers.

Sponsors on the show include Sonic Restaurants, Paramount Pictures and Ford.

The second of the back-to-back episodes on A&E Wednesday night drew 3.45 million total viewers and 1.6 million in the 25-54 demographic.

The “Sopranos” episodes made A&E the No. 1 network for all key demographics among cable networks for the night.

(Editor: Baumann)