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[10/23/03 - 12:00 AM]
Cable Movies, Series Not Unhinged by Fall Season
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Cable's impact continues to extend beyond the summer months as several original series and movies scored strong numbers in the past week despite facing off against the broadcast networks' fall lineups. Here's a breakdown of the latest news, both good and bad:

D.C. SNIPER: 23 DAYS OF FEAR (USA) - The Charles Dutton-led telefilm snagged 3.6 million viewers for its debut on October 17 making it the most-watched movie on basic cable last week. More importantly, 2.0 million of those viewers were among USA's target demographic of adults 25-54. Its 11:00/10:00c replay also performed well, drawing 2.2 million viewers.

BEAUTIFUL GIRL (ABC Family) - The cable channel's latest romantic comedy was seen by 3,078,000 viewers making it the most watched telefilm on the network this year. The movie, which aired on October 19, scored 1.7 million viewers in the key demographic of adults 18-49. Overall "Girl" helped increase ABC Family's primetime numbers for the week by 22% over the same period a year ago.

WILDER DAYS (TNT) - Just 2.3 million viewers watched the latest Turner project, toplined by Peter Falk, making one of TNT's lowest-rated movies of the year.

NIP/TUCK (FX) - Tuesday's season finale of the plastic surgery-themed drama scored 2.99 million viewers, of which 2.1 million were people 18-49 (1.6/4). Such numbers helped the series wrap its run as the top-rated freshman series on basic cable this year in adults 18-49 (2.2 million), adults 25-54 (2.18 million) and total viewers (3.25 million) on average. That's on par with the averages in all three categories of the both the freshman and sophomore seasons of fellow FX drama "The Shield."

NEWLYWEDS: NICK & JESSICA (MTV) - Thanks in small part due to a rain delay at the tail end of Game 3 of the World Series, the season finale of the reality series on Tuesday was seen by 3.0 million viewers, 2.3 million of which were among adults 18-49 (1.7/5). More importantly, "Newlyweds" was the top cable series among adults 18-34 (2.8/6), trailing only baseball on FOX and NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" in the 10:30/9:30c half-hour. Overall this season the series has averaged 2.7 million total viewers (2.01 million among adults 18-49).





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· BEAUTIFUL GIRL (ABC FAMILY)
· DC SNIPER: 23 DAYS OF FEAR (USA)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· NEWLYWEDS: NICK & JESSICA (MTV)
· NIP/TUCK (FX)
· SHIELD, THE (FX)
· WILDER DAYS (TNT)





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