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TBS's 'The Real Gilligan's Island' premieres huge, draws more than 7 million viewers to premiere broadcasts


By Reality TV World staff, 12/02/2004 

After scoring minor hits with its Outback Jack and He's A Lady reality series, TBS appears to have hit a ratings home run with The Real Gilligan's Island, its fourth attempt at an original primetime reality series of its own.

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According to Nielsen Media Research figures for Tuesday, November 30, TBS's The Real Gilligan's Island drew 4.03 million viewers for its 8PM debut episode, 3.68 million viewers for its 9PM second episode, and a gross audience of more than 7.2 million viewers for its debut on TBS and encores on TBS and sister network TNT.

Making The Real Gilligan's Island debut more impressive was its performance in the Adults 18-49 demographic, where it outperformed over-the-air networks Fox and UPN during the 8PM hour. NBC and The WB (along with Fox and UPN) also felt Gilligan's ratings surge, placing behind TBS in the Men 18-49 demographic for the hour.

The Real Gilligan's Island's 8PM premiere finished as the top-ranked ad-supported cable program in its time period among total viewers, households, and all key adults, female, and male demos. While slipping slightly, its 9PM second episode broadcast also performed well, finishing as the top-ranked ad-supported cable program in its time period among the key Adult, Male, and Female demos of 18-49 and 25-54.

Versus TBS's year-ago performance in the 8PM and 9PM time periods, The Real Gilligan's Island delivered triple-digit growth among viewers, Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49, and Adults 25-54.

The Real Gilligan's Island performed especially well in the superstation network's native Atlanta market, where its 8PM premiere on TBS's over-the-air WTBS station delivered a 7.3 household rating/10 share, beating the market's local NBC, CBS, FOX, UPN and The WB broadcast affiliates. WTBS's 9PM second episode broadcast followed with a 5.5/8 rating/share.

The Real Gilligan's Island marks TBS's third attempt at an original reality-comedy series of its own following its spring rebranding as television's "very funny" network. Outback Jack premiered to 2.1 million viewers in June, while the more campy He's A Lady debuted to 1.7 million viewers in October.

Previous to TBS's "very funny" rebranding, House Rules, a home renovation competition series, drew dismal ratings during its broadcast as part of the network's Fall 2003 primetime schedule. A second TBS home renovation competition series, The Mansion, also recently concluded broadcast. However unlike House Rules, the network choose to air The Mansion in what network executives termed a "more compatible" Saturday morning time period, where it averaged 698,000 viewers a week.

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