How Did UPN Thursday Fare Without SmackDown?

Brian Cantor

While “Everybody Hates Chris” posted numbers well above any recent episode of WWE SmackDown, as a whole, UPN saw little net change in switching Thursday to a “comedy” night.

UPN’s night opened optimistically with a 4.6/7 from the new comedy “Everybody Hates Chris.” But, by 8:30PM, the night was already losing its luster. “Love, Inc.” scored a mere 2.9/5 rating, bringing the 8PM hour to a 3.8 average.

Things only got worse from there. “Eve” and “Cuts” combined to post a poor 2.2 rating for the 9PM hour; despite “Chris,” UPN’s total was – not unlike recent SmackDown! airings – a 3.0 for the night.

However, UPN did benefit in one very crucial area: the adults 18-49 demographic. Bolstered by exceptional performance from “Chris,” the ad-friendly demographic increased 15% over last year’s airing of WWE SmackDown. Overall viewership, though, was down 6%.

Even though the Thursday rating saw little increase, UPN will still likely embrace the news. By moving SmackDown!, UPN was able to maintain its Thursday performance while also gaining a strong Friday presence. UPN effectively got SmackDown-caliber ratings (among the network’s best) twice in one week.

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