‘Beast’ Bows Below Expectations

Jan 16, 2009  •  Post A Comment

A&E’s scripted series “The Beast” starring Patrick Swayze debuted back-to-back episodes Thursday night, attracting 3.6 million total viewers.
In the 10 p.m. hour, “Beast” scored a 0.8 rating/2 share among adults 18-49 and drew 2.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research numbers. The episode was followed by an encore, which posted a 0.4/1 and 1.2 million viewers, down 50% in each count.
Compared with the July series premiere of “The Cleaner,” the network’s last original scripted series debut, “Beast” was down 20%.
“Beast,” however, debuted against the closing moments of “CSI’s” final episode with William Petersen on CBS, due to a schedule that was delayed to accommodate President George W. Bush’s farewell speech.
Expectations for the series were higher, considering the recent wave of press surrounding Patrick Swayze and his battle with pancreatic cancer, including a recent interview special with Barbara Walters.
The series opener still ranked among the top 10 most-watched programs in all of cable for the night, coming in on a four-way tie for No. 7, and helped A&E boost its time-period average 71% and the network’s primetime average by 85%.

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