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May 20 2024


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'Enterprise' Viewership Drops Below 8 Million

By Christian
October 12, 2001 - 7:15 PM

See Also: 'Strange New World' Episode Guide

Enterprise was watched by close to 8 million viewers on Wednesday, still making it one of the most successful new dramas of the season. But unfortunately, its audience erosion showed no signs of slowing yet.

MediaWeek today released the final national ratings for Wednesday, measuring the results from all television markets throughout the country as well specific demographic information. According to the site, 7.81 million viewers watched 'Strange New World,' making it the fourth-most watched program of the hour. In total households, the show received a 5.0 rating / 8 share, placing it at no. 5 for the hour. Amongst adults 18-49, it received a 4.2/11, placing it at no. 3 in this category.

With a household rating of 5.0, Enterprise for the first time fell below that of 'Endgame,' which scored a 5.5 - though the 'Strange New World' ratings still beat the Voyager finale in the important male demographics. In addition, with the exception of the Voyager finale 'Strange New World' still improved on every Voyager episode since 'Year of Hell, Part Two' in 1997 and the average rating of every season since the third. But of course, Enterprise's initial audience erosion likely hasn't ended yet, and it remains to be seen what the show's viewership levels are at the end of the season.

The Enterprise audience erosion also turned out to be larger than originally suggested by the overnight ratings (story). Rather than a mere 5.5% drop, Enterprise actually turned out to have lost 12% of its audience between the second and the third episodes. With its third episode, Enterprise has now retained 71% of the audience from the pilot, which is far better than the 60% left for TNG's third episode but is comparable to Voyager's 68% and DS9's 69%.

Despite this audience loss, analyst Marc Berman at MediaWeek still gave Enterprise an 'A' on his New Programming Scorecard, the only show on Wednesday to achieve this. Berman highlighted the fact that Enterprise remained the top-rated new drama among all the networks in several important key demographics. These include adults 18-34, where 'Strange New World' scored a 4.8 rating / 14 share, men 18-34 (5.8/18), men 18-49 (6.4/17), men 25-54 (7.2/17) and male teens (3.8/13).

While the current numbers still are very impressive, the fact that Enterprise experienced an audience loss similar to that of Deep Space Nine and Voyager for its third episode is slightly worrying. However, 'Strange New World' had to face stronger competition from the season premieres of both Ed and Dawson's Creek, as well as several local pre-emptions due to baseball coverage, factors that will not be present next week. Again, Enterprise's results for the full year will be the most important to watch, as it is determined whether the show will follow TNG's pattern of steadily building on its audience or Voyager's near-free fall.

For the full report from MediaWeek, please follow this link.

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