She's no Ozzy or Sharon, but Anna Nicole Smith popped Osbournes-like
ratings when her new E! Entertainment Television reality sitcom debuted Aug.
The Anna Nicole Show raced to the top of cable's Nielsens with
a 4.1 rating and 3.2 million households, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Only TNN: The National Network's World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. fare attracted more households.
The Anna Nicole Show joins an elite club of high-rated cable originals
that have come on this year.
Big-budget original dramas like FX's The Shield and USA Network's
Dead Zone and Monk have grabbed similar debut ratings.
After premiering to a 2.8 rating in March, MTV: Music Television's The Osbournes averaged a
4.4 rating for its season and soared to a 5.9 April 23.
The Anna Nicole Show was a hit with younger viewers; she harvested 1.7
million viewers 18 through 34 years old and 2.7 million adults 18 through 49.
E! finished the week of July 29 through Aug. 4 with a 0.7 average in prime time,
slightly above its recent Nielsen marks.
USA, too, is boasting of a big week for its originals. Monk
scored a 3.5 rating Aug. 2, while Dead Zone recorded a 2.8.
USA finished the week with a 1.7 average, tied for third with Cartoon Network
Turner Network Television led all cable channels with a 2.0 average, bolstered by three Law
& Order episodes that rated above 2.0, and Lifetime Television finished in second
with a 1.9 average.
ESPN, which averaged a 1.3 in prime time, kicked off its pro-football coverage
Aug. 3 with a San Francisco 49ers-Washington Redskins matchup that earned a