UPN Achieves Best Sweeps Ratings Since 1997

By Caillan
December 2, 2001 - 7:31 AM

A crew of Starfleet officers and a teenage Vampire Slayer helped UPN fight off competition from main rival the WB to secure its best sweeps period since 1997.

According to Mediaweek's Marc Berman, UPN achieved an average 2.9 rating / 5 share throughout November sweeps. This translates to an average of 4.53 million viewers, an increse of 7% from the year before.

The network also showed year-to-year growth in every demographic on four out of five weeknights. In the key age group of Adults 18-34 UPN scored a 2.1/6, up 11% from last year's figures.

Overall, the network secured 5th place in the November sweeps, behind the 'Big Four' networks. However, UPN did well to beat its main rival the WB, which targets the same young adult demographic. While UPN showed year-to-year growth, the WB's total viewership decreased 5% to 4.23 million. Furthermore, its figures amongst Adults 18-34 dropped 13% to an average rating of 2.0/6.

"We have really become the new destination for young adults - not just women, but men and women," UPN chief operating officer Adam Ware told Zap2it.

Dean Valentine, UPN's chief executive officer, said the network had five main goals this season: to launch Enterprise and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, set-up key 'anchor' series in the 8 p.m. timeslot, increase adult demographics, emphasise its image as a network for young adults, and to pull in greater advertising profits.

"Now with the end of November sweeps, I'm pleased to say we've achieved all those goals, and then some," Valentine said.

The three sweeps periods are held in November, February and May. The ratings during these times are especially importance because they dictate the advertising sale prices for the rest of the year. Hence, many series try and save their biggest episodes for sweeps in order to attract larger audiences.

UPN's November sweeps results show promise for Enterprise's long-term future on the network. The lastest Trek series was listed by Marc Berman among the winners for the sweeps period, with other UPN shows Buffy, One on One, Girlfriends and The Parkers receiving honourable mentions.

Enterprise and Buffy lead-out shows Special Unit 2 and Roswell fared less well. Although SU2 has been renewed for a full season, the future of Roswell is currently being decided by the network (story).

Further details can be found in this Mediaweek report and here at Zap2it. Thanks to Doug Wilson for this!

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