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‘Weeds’ Returns to Best Score Ever

Aug 19, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Bye-bye, “Cincinnati” — “Californication,” here we come. HBO last week decided to cancel its new series “John From Cincinnati,” the bizarro surfer saga from David Milch. The show’s finale was watched by 1.2 million viewers Aug. 12, according to Nielsen Media Research.
HBO, which has long said it does not make programming decisions based on ratings, had no comment on the cancellation, which came weeks after the departure of the biggest hit in the network’s history, “The Sopranos.”
The ratings were much brighter for rival pay cable network Showtime.
Showtime launched a new season of “Weeds” and used the Emmy-nominated show as a Monday-night launching pad for comedy “Californication,” starring David Duchovny.
The premiere of “Weeds” was the show’s highest-rated episode ever, drawing 1.2 million viewers. With 795,000 viewers, “Californication” became the network’s highest-rated scripted comedy debut since 2001.
Sci Fi Channel’s “Flash Gordon” blasted off Aug. 10, delivering the network’s highest ratings for a new series this year with 2.1 million viewers. Among adults 25 to 54, the show was the No. 3-rated program among basic cable networks.
While “Flash” was arriving with a bang, Sci Fi series “Painkiller Jane” landed with a thud and was canceled, although its remaining episodes are scheduled to air.
“Flash Gordon” was one of the last of cable’s summer shows to launch. This summer an unusually large number of cable networks launched original scripted shows, mostly to good-sized audiences. Some highly touted series, such as USA’s “Burn Notice,” have already been renewed. Others, like TNT’s “Heartland,” are unlikely to be seen again.
Cable networks favor original programming because it is attractive to advertisers, valuable to cable operators and helpful in establishing the network’s brand.
MTV’s “The Hills” returned for a third season, and more than 3.6 million viewers tuned in. The semi-reality series was MTV’s highest-rated telecast so far this year and was especially strong in MTV’s key demo of people 12 to 34. Among young women, the season-three opener of “The Hills” was up 40 percent from the season-two premiere.
The area on MTV’s Web site dedicated to “The Hills” also saw a bump in usage. Unique visitors were up 105 percent from last season’s premiere and page views registered a 3.12 percent increase.
Tori Spelling returned for her second season on Oxygen with “Tori & Dean: Inn Love.” The season premiere was the most-watched episode in the series’ history, grabbing a 0.6 household rating, a 0.6 rating among women 18 to 49 and a 0.9 among women 18 to 34.

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