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'Joe Schmo' finale draws over 3.4 million viewers to Spike TV


By Reality TV World staff, 10/30/2003 

Despite airing against the season premiere of FOX's 24 real-time serial drama, the two-hour series finale of Spike TV's The Joe Schmo Show drew big ratings on Tuesday night -- at least "big" for the freshly relaunched basic cable network.

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According to Daily Variety, the 9-10 PM ET conclusion of the fake reality show drew an average of over 3.4 million viewers, more than double the program's previous high that had been set during the penultimate episode that aired two weeks ago, making the show the highest-rated episode of an original series on the network since September 2000 when it was still known as The New TNN. According to Zap2It.com, the finale did so welll that it beat "Big Six" broadcaster UPN for the hour in total viewers and outdrew both UPN and The WB in the desirable adults 18-49 demographic.

Variety notes that the episode averaged 876,000 viewers in the men 18-34 demographic, translating to a preliminary 2.7 national rating/8 share that should rank third for the 9-10 PM hour behind Fox's 24 (4.7/14) and ABC comedies According to Jim and Less Than Perfect (3.1/9). The 876,000 viewers number translates to about five times the number that the previous TNN scored in the same hour a year ago.

Following the one-hour finale, the second hour of the two-hour finale, which featured a hour-long interview special with Gould and "Joe Schmo" host Ralph Garman and was technically considered a separate broadcast for ratings purposes, averaged 2.4 million viewers, 230 percent better than the same time period a year ago.

"This reality show has taken the genre to a whole new level," Spike president Albie Hecht told Variety. "It has proven that smart, funny and clever will draw the elusive male viewer." Despite the success however, Hecht wasn't ready to go on the record and officially announce that the series will be back for the second go-around. "We're definitely thinking about it. It certainly worked for us." Of course, based on the public comments from the series producers, we already knew that.

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