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Viewership Climbs Above 8 Million Again

By Christian
October 24, 2001 - 12:45 PM

See Also: 'Unexpected' Episode Guide

Last week's 'Unexpected' became the first Enterprise episode to attract a larger audience than the previous week, bringing the Series V viewership above 8 million again.

According to a report on Reuters, 'Unexpected' was watched by 8.16 million people, up from the previous week's 7.81 million viewers. The show achieved a 5.2 household rating / 8 share, also up from last week's 5.0/8. Finally, Enterprise ended up at nearly the same place on the list of all primetime programs, tying for no. 68 compared to last week's 65th place.

This makes Enterprise the first modern Star Trek series to show a ratings improvement between the fourth and the fifth episode. It also gives Enterprise the largest audience retention at this stage of the series, as 'Unexpected' managed to achieve 74.2% of the ratings of 'Broken Bow.' By comparison, The Next Generation's fourth episode only held on to 56.7% of the opening audience, while for DS9 and Voyager these numbers were 61.7% and 65.4%, respectively.

Of course, it is impossible to already draw conclusions for the full season from these ratings. While Voyager scored better than TNG or DS9 in audience retention for its fourth episode, from then on its ratings continued to steadily drop for the remainder of the season. DS9 experienced a short ratings upswing with its fifth episode before also continuing to drop, while TNG's ratings actually started climbing and held steady from then on. The overnight ratings for tonight's 'Terra Nova' will be interesting as an indication of which pattern Enterprise will be following, but a clear picture will likely only be available by the time at least half the season is over.

Enterprise continued to perform well in various advertiser-friendly demographics, even though audience erosion in these viewer categories hasn't ended yet. 'Unexpected' achieved a 4.0 rating / 11 share among adults 18-49, down from last week's 4.2/11. Among adults 18-34, however, the show's ratings dropped sharply from a reported 4.8 for 'Strange New World' to a 3.7 for 'Unexpected' - but such a very strong decline during a week when overall audience levels held steady suggests that either last week's or this week's 18-34 ratings were incorrect.

Overnight ratings for 'Terra Nova' should be available tomorrow, with the episode's final ratings following a week later.

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