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Ratings: Fox's 'So You Think You Can Dance' debuts big, dominates the night

By Reality TV World staff, 07/21/2005 

If the ratings for last night's premiere of Fox's new So You Think You Can Dance reality show are any indication, it looks like ABC's recently concluded Dancing with the Stars series isn't going to be this summer's only hit reality dancing show.

According to the final national Nielsen ratings for July 20, So You Think You Can Dance's special two-hour premiere debuted strongly, averaging 10.3 million viewers, a 6.4/11 rating/share in households, a 4.6/15 in the Adults 18-49 demographic, a 4.5/13 in Adults 25-54, a 4.9/17 in Adults 18-34, and a 3.4/15 in Teens.

Not only did So You Think You Can Dance defeat ABC's own nascent Brat Camp reality hit in the 9-10PM ET/PT hour (although Brat Camp was only down slightly from last week's big debut numbers, demonstrating that even if Dance wasn't already scheduled to regularly air in the earlier 8-9PM hour, both shows could likely co-exist), but it also finished first in every key demographic for every half-hour of the 8-10PM ET/PT time period.

So You Think You Can Dance's performance represented Fox's highest rated summer premiere in over two years (since American Juniors' June 2003 premiere), however as the eventual fate of American Juniors illustrated -- after a strong start, the show slumped so badly that Fox ended up canceling its plans for a American Juniors 2 -- a strong debut is not always a guarantee of staying power.

One thing that does point to So You Think You Can Dance continuing its ratings success is that fact that the show's ratings increased significantly throughout its two-hour run -- an indication that viewers liked what they saw and kept watching.

With So You Think You Can Dance filling Fox's entire two-hour Wednesday night primetime programming block, that meant that Dance's strong numbers also represented Fox's entire Wednesday night performance -- a fact that the network's marketing folks used to tout Fox's Wednesday night performance as the summer's highest rated night of entertainment programming among Adults 18-49.

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