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Summer Session: Progress Report - June 21

Nothing new to report on the summer debut front in the Numbers Game, so it's pretty much a good time for... progress reports.

The Best of the Best...

So which series have earned the right to become bonafide summer hits? Three come to mind... "Hell's Kitchen", "Dancing With the Stars", and "Beauty & The Geek". First up... Hell has risen. Heh. Thought I'd never say that in this column.

Hell's Kitchen Overnights Viewers Adults 18-49
Week 1 4.2/7, fourth 6.80 million, fourth 3.2/7, a second-place tie
Week 2 5.2/8, a second-place tie 6.98 million, second 3.5/9, first
Week 3 5.1/8, a second-place tie 7.43 million, second 3.8/10, first
Progress notes: It's nice to see a show like this get better with time. I credit the wine list. Fox wins where it counts in this entry, and it's picking up a nod and giving Fox some much-needed lift on summer Mondays.

So sure, cooking under hellfire is pretty good, but it pales in comparison with heavenly dancing.

Dancing with the Stars Overnights Viewers Adults 18-49
Week 1 9.4/15, first 13.48 million, first 4.3/12, first
Week 2 11.3/18, first 14.86 million, first 4.7/14, first
Week 3 12.3/20, first 15.31 million, first 4.7/14, first
Progress notes: Numbers like these speak volumes for themselves. Now it's a wait-and-see if ABC will bite.

And speaking of biting, the WB has already bit, ordering up a contestant search for a second season of "Beauty & The Geek".

Beauty & The Geek Overnights Viewers Adults 18-49
Week 1 2.2/4, fifth 3.17 million, fifth 1.6/5, fifth
Week 2 3.1/5, fifth 3.55 million, fifth 1.7/6, fifth
Week 3 3.7/7, fourth 4.26 million, fourth 2.0/7, second
Progress notes: Talk about a jump in sales. No wonder the WB ordered up more episodes. Now let's see what they can do with them.

The Best of the Worst...

Now comes what my colleague Gordon refers to as "dookie." First of all, the once-heralded "Hit Me Baby 1 More Time" looks like it took a few hits of its own.

Hit Me Baby 1 More Time Overnights Viewers Adults 18-49
Week 1 6.4/9, second 8.65 million, second 4.5/13, first
Week 2 6.0/9, third 7.19 million, third 3.6/11, first
Week 3 5.0/8, third 5.92 million, third 3.0/9, third
Progress notes: Just goes to show that NBC can trumpet all they want about demographics, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and almost a third of the first-week audience has had their fill already.

From the world of singing to the world according to Bill Cosby's "A Different World". Here's "The Scholar"-ly news... and it's not particularly good.

The Scholar Overnights Viewers Adults 18-49
Week 1 3.7/5, a third-place tie 4.87 million, third 1.7/5, fourth
Week 2 3.6/5, fourth 4.51 million, fourth 1.5/5, fourth
Progress notes: ABC dropped 39 percent from last year the first week. This is a big part, being at 8pm and all. Not a good way to lead off the night. But then again, it only dropped   two percent from last year for the second week. That doesn't help matters any, though.

Too Soon to Tell...

Fire Me... Please! Overnights Viewers Adults 18-49
Week 1 5.5/9, second 8.28 million, second 3.3/10, first
Week 2 5.7/9, third 7.09 million, third 2.8/8, third
Progress notes: Proof positive that people will watch anything over the summer. Until the second episode, when they are expected to know better. I know it's too soon, but quoting Rodger Mullen of the Fayetteville Observer, "They should change the name of this show to 'Cancel Me... Now!'"
The Cut Overnights Viewers Adults 18-49
Week 1 5.1/9, second 6.68 million, second 2.1/7, third
Week 2 4.3/7, second 5.60 million, second 1.8/7, third
Progress notes: CBS dropped an average of 23 percent from last year. Not good if you're trying to get your work out to the public. Time will tell if the move to Wednesdays helps, but point of reference... "The Apprentice" was originally on Wednesdays before becoming a Thursday hit.

But we have more premieres coming, and there's a glut of new numbers to gauge later in the summer when the primetime games hit full blast. Until next week, though, remember... The numbers never lie.

Chico Alexander is quick to note the irony of the title "Fire Me, Please!" E-mail him at chico@gameshownewsnet.com


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