The Scifi Channel announced Monday that its new Thursday night programming block got off to a great start on March 4, with its new Mad Mad House reality series launching the night with a 1.35 household rating and drawing 1.57 million viewers.

Following Mad Mad House's 9-10PM ET/PT broadcast, the second-season premiere of Scare Tactics drew a 1.5 household rating and 1.58 million viewers, while the new computer-animated Tripping the Rift drew the block's highest ratings, with a 1.8 household rating and 2.08 million viewers at 10:30PM ET/PT.

Collectively, the viewership of the two-hour block was more than double the network's primetime average, while the block's Adults 18-34 demographic rating was up 194% over the previous year.

Mad Mad House's premiere compares extremely well with those of other recent non-MTV cable network reality shows. For example, last Fall's The Joe Schmo Show, the flagship series of the then newly-rebranded Spike TV network, drew only about 800,000 viewers in its premiere broadcast before drawing 1.2 million viewers in its second episode, 1.7 million in its penultimate episode, and busting out with 3.4 million viewers for its season finale.

On the other hand, the FX Network's Todd TV also premiered to about 800,000 viewers in January 2004 (a number that for FX was actually 10% lower than the network's primetime average from the previous year -- when it aired little more than syndicated repeats) and quickly went only downhill from there.

Of course, none of these shows can compare with the numbers drawn by those shows broadcast by the undisputed king of basic cable reality programming -- MTV, where programs such as The Real World, Road Rules, and Newlyweds regularly draw several million viewers.

For those who missed it, the Scifi Channel will rebroadcast Mad Mad House's premiere episode on March 11 at 8PM ET/PT -- right before the program's second episode airs in its regular 9PM ET/PT time period.