The ABC Television Network has announced that "The Bachelor" returned to ABC's air in triumphant fashion on October 2, 2002, dominating the season premiere of CBS' "Amazing Race," challenging NBC's "West Wing" for the Adults 18-49 lead and producing some of ABC's best numbers in the Wednesday 9PM time period in 1-1/2 years.

"The Bachelor" outdelivering CBS' season opener of "Amazing Race" by 1.5 million viewers (11.0 million vs. 9.5 million) and by 32% in Adults 18-49 (4.9/12 vs. 3.7/9). In fact, "The Bachelor" even challenged "West Wing" for the Adult 18-49 lead in the hour, pacing just 3 tenths of a rating point behind the NBC drama (5.2/13). Additionally, ABC saw its most competitive performance in the hour opposite an original episode of "West Wing" in more than 1-1/2 years (since 2/14/01).

"The Bachelor" won the hour, beating "West Wing" by 63% in Adults 18-34 (5.2/15 vs. 3.2/9) and by 16% in Women 18-49 (6.6/16 vs. 5.7/14). "The Bachelor" gained more than 1 million viewers from its first half-hour to its second half-hour (10.5 million to 11.6 million). True to its core demographic, "The Bachelor" stood as the No. 1 program on Wednesday night in Women 18-34 (7.0/19).

Compared to its Monday series debut last March in a less competitive environment (9.9 million viewers & 4.0/9 in Adults 18-48), the season opener of "The Bachelor" was up by 11% in viewers and by 23% in young adults. In fact, "The Bachelor" topped its first four telecast last season among Adults 18-49.

"The Bachelor" generated ABC's best Adults 18-49 series numbers in the hour in almost 1-year among - since 11/14/01. "The Bachelor" posted the Net's best Adults 18-34 and Women 18-49 series marks in the time period in over 1-1/2 years - since 2/14/01.