Despite Oscar Competition The WB Shows Stronger Year-To-Year Growth Than Any Other Network

March 31, 1998

WEEKLY RATINGS HIGHLIGHTS Week of March 23-29, 1998

THE WB achieved a solid 2.7/4 HH rating/share for the week of March 23-29, 1998 - a week dominated by the Academy Awards on Monday night. THE WB improved its performance versus the same week a year ago, which also included the Oscar broadcast, building +17% in rating over the parallel week - the strongest gain of any network year-to-year. In contrast, NBC, FOX and UPN were off sharply versus last year's Oscar week, while CBS improved slightly. THE WB defeated UPN (2.2/3) among households for the fourteenth consecutive week, as the Paramount network fell to a new season low.THE WB secured a 1.5/4 among adults 18-49, gaining +36% in rating and +33% in share over the comparable week a year ago. THE WB continues to rack up the strongest year-to-year weekly gains in adults 18-49 of any network, despite the tough Oscar competition.

  • THE WB ranked #2 among teens 12-17 for the week, delivering a strong 3.6/11 to finish behind ABC's Oscar inflated 6.3/22 and easily defeating FOX (3.2/10), NBC (2.8/10), CBS (2.5/9) and UPN (1.8/5).
  • THE WB averaged 3,850,000 viewers (Persons 2+) for the week, outdistancing UPN (3,120,000) by over 700,000 viewers (+23%). Season to date, The WB's 4,550,000 average viewers 2+ is up 24% vs. last season, easily the strongest viewership growth of any network.
  • THE WB also delivered double-digit year-to-year ratings gains across nearly every key demo, leaping +33% in rating among adults 18-34 (1.6/5), growing +29% in rating among women 18-34 (1.8/5), building +42% in rating among women 18-49 (1.7/4), gaining +40% in rating among men 18-34 (1.4/4) and improving +30% in rating among men 18-49 (1.3/3). The network also delivered a convincing 2.1/6 among the important Persons 12-34 demo, gaining +31%/+20% in rating/share over the equivalent week a year ago.
  • Season-to-date, THE WB continues to deliver the strongest household growth of any network, building +19%/+25% in rating/share over the same period a year ago with a 3.1/5 HH rating/share. The network also has strongest season-to-date gains among adults 18-49, posting a 1.6/4 to grow +23%/+33% in rating/share over the same period a year ago.

National Highlights - Monday, March 23, 1998

THE WB Monday night dramas posted a 2.1/3 HH rating/share versus the Academy Awards, actually building +17% in rating over the same Monday a year ago, which also included the Oscars. THE WB topped UPN for the night in household rating (2.1/3 vs. 2.0/3), as it has every Monday this season. THE WB delivered a 1.2/3 among adults 18-49, gaining +9% in rating over the same Monday a year ago, and performed particularly well among the younger demos. THE WB ranked #2 for the night among teens 12-17 (2.5/7), finishing only behind ABC's Oscar night coverage and jumping +79%/+40% in rating/share over the parallel week a year ago. THE WB also ranked #2 among female teens (3.1/9).

National Highlights - Tuesday, March 24, 1998

THE WB's "New Tuesday" posted a solid 3.3/5 HH rating/share airing a pair of repeat episodes of its hit dramas BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and DAWSON'S CREEK. THE WB defeated UPN's Tuesday line-up by a full rating and share point, and topped the sixth place network across every key demo for the night. THE WB scored a 2.0/5 among adults 18-49, and continued to remain competitive among women 18-34 (2.6/7) and women 18-49 (2.3/6). THE WB "New Tuesday" was tied with ABC for the night among teens 12-17 (5.1/16), and remains particularly strong among female teens (6.5/20).

  • Even in repeat, DAWSON'S CREEK is a strong performer for THE WB, notching a 3.7/6 HH rating/share. The 9:00pm drama beat PUBLIC EYE on CBS among adults 18-34 (2.7/8 vs. 2.5/7) and men 18-34 (2.3/7 vs. 1.9/6), and tied the CBS program among women 18-34 (3.1/8 vs. 3.1/8). DAWSON'S CREEK also defeated WHY PLANES GO DOWN on FOX among women 18-34 (3.1/8 vs. 3.0/8). DAWSON'S CREEK continues to deliver among teens 12-17 (6.6/20) and ranked #1 in the 9:00pm hour among female teens (8.9/27).

National Highlights - Wednesday, March 25, 1998

The newly-configured WB Wednesday scored an excellent 3.3/5 HH rating/share, roughly on par with its season-to-date average and up +6% in rating versus the equivalent Wednesday a year ago. THE WB comedies topped UPN's dramas by a full rating and share point (3.3/5 vs. 2.3/4), as UPN fell to its lowest output in 12 weeks. THE WB comedy block achieved a strong 1.6/4 among adults 18-49, jumping +33%/+33% in rating/share over the comparable Wednesday a year ago and also defeating UPN. In fact, THE WB scored impressive year-to-year rating gains across all the adults demos, improving sharply among adults 18-34 (1.9/6 - up +46% versus last year), women 18-34 (2.5/7 - up +67%), women 18-49 (2.1/6 - up +50%), men 18-34 (1.3/4 - up +18%) and men 18-49 (1.1/3 - up +10%). THE WB (4.4/15) was tied for #1 among teens for the night with FOX, and was tied for #1 with ABC among male teens (4.0/14). THE WB also delivered a strong number among female teens (4.9/17), and ranked #1 for the night among kids 2-11 (2.6/11). In the trendsetting demo of Persons 12-34, THE WB notched a 2.0/7 to defeat both CBS (1.8/6) and UPN (1.4/5).

  • SMART GUY (R) led off the night in its new time period with a solid 3.2/6 HH rating/share, despite airing in repeat against original episodes of THE NANNY, NEWSRADIO and BEVERLY HILLS 90210. The comedy improved the time period by +14% in rating and +20% in share over the equivalent Wednesday a year ago, and posted significant year-to-year gains across every key demo.
  • SISTER, SISTER (R) moved to 8:30pm and scored a 3.5/6 HH rating/share, right on target with the time period season-to-date average. The show was also on par with the time period season-to-date average among adults 18-49 (1.6/4), which was up +60%/+33% in rating/share over the equivalent Wednesday a year ago.

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