NBC's 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search' premiere fails to make ratings splash
By Reality TV World staff, 01/12/2005
The series premiere of NBC's new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search reality series failed to make much of a rating splash last week, delivering one of NBC's better performances in the time period this season, but still getting slammed by ABC's first new Lost episode of the year.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search drew 6.8 million overall viewers and a 2.8/7 rating/share in the Adults 8-49 demographic for its January 5 premiere. The performance placed the show second in its time period among the all-important Adults 18-49, but far behind the 21.6 million viewers and 8.4/21 rating/share record high numbers delivered by ABC's Lost juggernaut. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search also finished behind CBS's 60 Minutes Wednesday (10.8 million) in overall viewers.
Illustrating just how badly NBC has fared in the time period this season, despite the drubbing by Lost, Swimsuit Model Search's performance still represented a 27% improvement over the network's season-to-date regular programming average in the hour and ranked as NBC's third-highest Adults 18-49 rating of the season in the slot.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search did show some solid growth in the hour, building its Adults 18-49 from 2.5/7 to 3/1.8 from its first half-hour to its second, indicating that once viewers did tune in, they enjoyed what they saw -- giving NBC hope that the series will receive positive word of mouth that will fuel bigger numbers for future broadcasts (or at least when Lost goes back into repeats in two weeks.)