Is "Fame" the next "American Idol?"
Hoping to generate some summer ratings heat, NBC's new talent-reality show plowed over mostly repeats on rival networks in its two-hour Wednesday debut.
"Fame" won the 8-10 p.m. slot with a 4.5 rating/13 share in the key 18-49 demographic and 10.6 million total viewers, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research.
The show dispatched competitors as various as CBS' "Funny Flubs & Screw Ups" (2.7/9, 9.8 million viewers) and repeats of ABC's "The George Lopez Show" (3.4/9, 8.1 million) and Fox's "The Bernie Mac Show" (3.2/9, 7.1 million).
NBC is clearly hoping "Fame" will build into a summer phenomenon. The network noted that its demo rating came within shouting distance of "American Idol's" June 11 series premiere (4.8/14), and its total viewer tally actually beat "Idol's" debut (9.9 million).
"Fame's" healthy debut is good news for NBC, whose summer plans include a renewed push to stem viewer erosion with original reality series. On Tuesday, two episodes of the sophomore reality contest "Dog Eat Dog" also won their slots in the demo, helping NBC take the overall win for what has recently been a challenging night for the network.
Overall, NBC took Wednesday in the demo (4.5/13), with ABC and Fox tied for a distant second (3.1/9) and CBS fourth (3.0/9). The peacock also won in total viewers (11 million), followed by CBS (10.8 million), ABC (7.7 million) and Fox (6.7 million).