'Broken Bow' Second-Most Popular UPN Night

By Lisa
September 28, 2001 - 2:08 PM

See Also: 'Broken Bow' Episode Guide

National ratings for 'Broken Bow' released today showed that the Enterprise premiere gave UPN its second-biggest audience ever.

12.54 million people watched Captain Archer and his crew on the maiden flight of the NX-01. After a long period of declining ratings, with Voyager episodes only attracting several million viewers per episode, this is a strong sign that the Star Trek franchise is still viable.

'Broken Bow' bagged UPN its second most watched night in its history. Only the premiere of Star Trek: Voyager launching the network in 1995, achieved higher viewership figures. 'Caretaker' launched amid a fanfare of publicity for the new network and was seen by 21.3 million viewers.

Trade paper Variety released detailed demographic information on 'Broken Bow.' Enterprise was most popular in the lucrative adults aged 18-45 market, grabbing a 6.3 rating and a share of 16 in this important age group. In adults aged 18-34, the show scored a 5.2 rating and a share of 15; meaning that Enterprise was the most watched show by people in these categories from 8-10 p.m on Wednesday night.

Of course, more men tuned into the show than women, with a rating of 8.3 in men aged 18-25 and 7.2 in males aged 18-49. This is a great result for UPN, surpassing even the ratings of its usual men magnet, WWF Smackdown. But the show also performed strongly with female viewers, scoring a 5.4 rating among women aged 18-49.

UPN was the most-watched network in many important markets, including New York, San Francisco and Detroit. This continues a trend often seen in the ratings for Voyager; the show is more popular in urban markets. This is also the reason Star Trek's national ratings are often lower than the overnight ratings: overnight ratings are based only on the results of the top-47 urban markets, while national ratings incorporate the entire country. Enterprise's initial overnight rating of 9.1 translated into a 7.1 national rating thanks to this discrepancy.

These figures are even more impressive when taken alongside UPN's limited coverage. Only around 82% of the country was able to watch 'Broken Bow' on Wednesday, while networks such as CBS and NBC have virtually complete coverage of the nation.

After such a strong performance on its premiere night, the challenge now for Enterprise is to hold on to as many viewers as possible. The ratings figures for 'Fight or Flight' will be keenly awaited.

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