From Trace to Tree, networks are racking up potential stealth hits
By Allison Romano -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/24/2004 8:00:00 PM
In prime time hitsville, all is not Lost. High-profile shows like ABC's Lost and Desperate Housewives and CBS's CSI trio may grab the lion's share of headlines this fall, but a handful of others are gaining traction. Here's a look at five shows flying under the rader that are ready to break out.
Boston Legal, ABC
Despite losing half of its Desperate Housewives lead-in, The Practice's spinoff is rejuvenating the Sunday 10 p.m. slot. Boston Legal is generating an average 12.1 million viewers—a 15% increase over The Practice's audience last fall, and a 21%
improvement in adults 18-49.
Medical Investigation, NBC
In the battle of Friday-night medical shows, MI trumps CBS's Dr. Vegas. Even better for NBC, MI is averaging 9.2 million viewers and a healthy 3.4 rating in 18-49s, solid marks on a light TV viewing night. Last week, NBC picked up a full-season order.
Kevin Hill, UPN
Sexy star Taye Diggs is attracting his own fan club. His new legal drama nabbed 4.1 million viewers last week, its best yet. And the show is reeling in triple-digit time period gains with key 18-34s and 18-49s. A preseason critical fave, it started slow and built up.
One Tree Hill, The WB
Desperate Housewives isn't the only soap steaming up fall. This sophomore teen drama is in bloom, with viewership up nearly 50% over last fall to 4.9 million viewers. In particular, more young viewers are discovering the show. Season-to-date, 18-34s and 18-49s deliveries are up more than 70%, to 1.7 million for 18-34s and 2.8 million in 18-49s.
Without a Trace, CBS
CBS repeated Without a Trace this summer, and the added exposure paid off. The crime drama is a top-five broadcast show with electric growth, impressive against ER, which scores higher in 18-49s. Its viewership is up 34% this season, to nearly 21 million over last fall, and the drama is making similar percentage strides in 18-49s and 25-54s.
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