[06/04/03 - 12:00 AM] '44 Minutes' Rocks Fx, While 'It's Good to Be' E! By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)
CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- FX's original movie "44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shootout" scored the cable channel's highest ratings ever in its nine-year history. Sunday's broadcast drew 6.1 million viewers (3.9 million households), beating its previous record of 5.9 million for last year's NASCAR Winston Cup Race.
More importantly, "44 Minutes" managed a stellar 3.4 rating among adults 18-49 making it the top rated cable program in that demographic for the week. Overall the telefilm managed a 4.8 rating in households, finishing behind only TNT's May 29 NBA playoff coverage (5.0 rating) for the week.
Meanwhile, fellow cable channel E! also had some good news on Sunday. The premiere of "It's Good to Be" averaged a solid 1.80 metered market household rating, up 86% from the network's time period average last quarter and 17% ahead of its "E! True Hollywood Story" lead-in. The second season finale of "The Anna Nicole Show" followed with a 1.47 rating, a drop of 18% from its lead-in.
Finally in other cable ratings news, TNT's off-network acquisition of NBC's "Boomtown" met with mediocre results. The May 26 bow scored a 1.5 rating, down slightly from the cable channel's time slot average on Monday nights at 10:00/9:00c (1.6 rating). More disappointing however was that its lead-in, a repeat of "Law & Order," was the most watched episode ever of the drama on basic cable, registering a 2.7 rating (3.6 million viewers). That episode came at the tail end of a 12-hour "Law" marathon, which averaged 2.2 million viewers.
TNT executives insist it's still too early to say if the pickup was a success or not as since the premiere episode aired so quickly after the repurposing deal was closed, little time was left for marketing.