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'Ice' Rebounds From 'Andorian' Low

By Christian
November 8, 2001 - 6:19 PM

See Also: 'Breaking the Ice' Episode Guide

After sinking to an all-time low opposite last week's World Series, Enterprise ratings rebounded again with yesterday's 'Breaking the Ice'.

According to a new report by MediaWeek's Marc Berman, 'Breaking the Ice' achieved a 6.5 overnight rating / 10 share. This is up again from last week's 5.8, and even slightly higher than the 6.4 from the week before.

In the real world, these figures mean that of all households in the United States with television sets, approximately 6.5% saw last night's Series V episode. Of all those people actually watching TV, 10% were tuned into Enterprise.

'Breaking the Ice' held up well in its timeslot, only narrowly being defeated for fourth place by ABC's sitcom block, which scored an average 6.7 rating / 11 share. Winner of the 8:00pm hour was CBS with the 'Country Music Awards,' which scored an 8.6/13, followed by NBC's Ed with an 8.3/12. Below Enterprise came FOX's 'Temptation Island Reunion,' achieving only a 4.8/8, and the WB's Dawson's Creek, which took in a 3.6/5.

Yesterday's episode was also the first Enterprise installment to air during the important November sweeps, one of the three periods during which television ratings for local stations are determined. The fact that Enterprise managed to keep up its strong performance is good news for both UPN and its local affiliates. Even lead-out show Special Unit 2 did not perform quite as bad as usual, though it's 3.7/7 rating still meant it lost almost half of Enterprise's audience.

For a more detailed analysis of last night's television ratings, please read the full MediaWeek report.

Final national ratings for last week's 'The Andorian Incident' revealed that Enterprise was one of the shows that was strongly hurt by Fox's coverage of the World Series.

According to viewership figures released by MediaWeek, 'The Andorian Incident' was watched by 7.19 million people, its smallest audience yet. The week before, 'Terra Nova' was watched by 8.35 million, while the previous all-time low was for 'Strange New World', which attracted 7.81 million people. The show scored a 4.5 household rating, meaning that of all American homes with television sets 4.5% tuned into 'The Andorian Incident.' This is also down sharply from the average 5.1 rating of the past few weeks.

Compared to other Star Trek series, the ratings for 'The Andorian Incident' do not paint a very rosy picture for Enterprise. The episode was watched by 64.3% of the people who watched 'Broken Bow', while TNG's and DS9's sixth episode managed to attract 77.1% and 68.1% of the audience for their pilots, respectively. Enterprise still did better than Voyager, whose 'Eye of the Needle' was watched by only 59.2% of those who saw 'Caretaker.' However, this kind of comparison is not very meaningful for this particular episode, as none of the three other series had to face the World Series for their sixth episode.

In absolute terms, it is interesting to see that even with this strong competition, Enterprise managed to perform far better than most DS9 and Voyager episodes did over the past few years. On Voyager, the only episodes that achieved similar ratings to 'The Andorian Incident' in the past three seasons were 'Endgame,' 'Unimatrix Zero' and 'Dark Frontier,' all of which were heavily-promoted two-hour event episodes. Assuming the rebound shown in the overnight ratings for 'Breaking the Ice' hold up in the final ratings, Enterprise will certainly remain a very strong performer for UPN.

For the entire week, Enterprise placed no. 74 on the chart of best-performing network shows, compared to last week's 69th place. The show was of course pushed down especially by the World Series, which occupied five of the places in the top 10, and also led other male-friendly shows such as Smallville and The West Wing to season lows. Elsewhere on the list, Enterprise companion show Special Unit 2 was also hurt by the World Series, ending up at no. 102 and being watched by less than half of the people who tuned in for Enterprise.

With the rebound visible in the overnight rating for 'Breaking the Ice,' its final rating should be more comparable again to the other Enterprise episodes UPN aired during October. As the November Sweeps have started, final ratings might be available as soon as tomorrow, but will at the latest be released a week from now.

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