'Enterprise' Scores Massive Overnight Ratings

By Christian
September 27, 2001 - 3:33 PM

Enterprise got off to a very good start yesterday, taking in ratings not seen since the early seasons of Star Trek: Voyager and beating all networks besides NBC.

According to preliminary figures released on Zap2It, 'Broken Bow' scored a 9.9 overnight rating and a 15 share. This means that out of all the households with television sets in America, approximately 9.9% were tuned in to Enterprise, while of those households actually watching TV, 15% were watching the Series V pilot.

The second hour of 'Broken Bow' took in slightly higher ratings than the first hour, a promising sign for Enterprise. Usually, a drop-off during the second hour of a series premiere is an indication of viewers disliking what they're seeing.

In its regular 8:00pm-9:00pm timeslot, Enterprise lifted UPN to second place among the six major networks. Only CBS managed to narrowly beat Enterprise with 60 Minutes II, benefiting from the increased popularity of news programming over the past weeks. ABC's season premiere of My Wife and Kids placed third with an 8.4/13, followed by two Fox comedies (5.6/9), NBC's Lost (4.6/7) and the WB movie 'The Indian in the Cupboard' (2.4/3).

From 9:00pm to 10:00pm, Enterprise was beaten by a first-season repeat of West Wing, which scored a 10.4/15. 'Broken Bow' again easily beat all other shows, including The Drew Carey Show (6.6/10), CBS's The Amazing Race (6.0/9), Fox's Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage (5.7/9) and again 'The Indian in the Cupboard,' which lasted two hours.

With these ratings, Enterprise would seem to have easily outperformed Voyager, which scored an overnight rating of 8.3/13 for its series finale (story). At the time, those ratings already represented Trek's best performance since 'Scorpion' aired four years ago.

Despite the strong performance of 'Broken Bow,' it was unable to equal that of Voyager's 'Caretaker,' which scored a 14.5 overnight rating / 20 share. However, when 'Caretaker' aired in 1995, it also launched the UPN network, giving it a large amount of extra publicity. In addition, Voyager debuted at the height of Star Trek's popularity, and in a television market less fragmented than today.

Please note that these figures only represent the overnight ratings from the top 47 television markets in the country. The final national ratings, measuring all markets, should be available within a few days. As Star Trek tends to be most popular in large urban markets, the premiere's final ratings will likely be a bit lower than the overnight ratings - 'Endgame,' for instance, had an 8.3 overnight rating but only a 5.5 final rating.

However the final ratings turn out, 'Broken Bow' will still prove to be Trek's best performance in at least four years. After this strong opening, Enterprise's main challenge will now be to hold on to as many viewers as possible from its initial audience.

To read the original report at Zap2It, please follow this link. This article will be updated if new demographic info becomes available today.

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