'Joe' Delivers Jolt; 'Fear,' 'Folks' Fly
Wed Jan 22, 2:00 AM ET
By Rick Kissell
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Reality ruled the ratings roost Monday, with Fox's dominant "Joe Millionaire" posting week-to-week gains, and NBC's "Fear Factor" and a special preview of "Meet My Folks" also performing very well.
Overall, an unscripted program captured each of the evening's hours across the board in key demos. According to preliminary Nielsen nationals, "Joe" was up 5% week-to-week in adults 18-49 (to 9.9 rating/22 share), and drew its largest overall audience yet (18.8 million).
It combined with the best scores in five firstrun tries for "Boston Public (news - Y! TV)" (third-place 4.4/11 in adults 18-49) to give Fox the night across the board, including its best Monday 18-49 average with regular programs since March 2000 and its largest overall audience (14.3 million) since "Melrose Place" days in February 1996.
"Meet My Folks," a hit last summer during its short run on NBC, bowed with a special preview episode that captured the 10 p.m. hour in all key demos (series-high 6.7/16 in adults 18-49) and placed second to a repeat of CBS' "CSI: Miami" in total viewers (13.6m). This is NBC's best non-sports 18-49 performance in the hour since part two of miniseries "Noah's Ark" in May 1999.
"Folks," which also aired a special episode on Tuesday, moves to its regular Saturday-at-10 slot this week.
Overall, NBC matched its best non-sports Monday 18-49 average (6.2/15) since May 1999. At 8, "Fear Factor" (6.6/16 in adults 18-49, 15.6 million) cruised with its best demo score since March, while a repeat episode at 9 ran second to "Joe" in 18-49 (5.4/12) and gave NBC its strongest delivery in the hour this season.
Each of Monday's reality series posted even better numbers among adults 18-34, with "Fear Factor" (6.8/18) leading its hour by 5 shares, "Joe Millionaire" (11.1/26) by 14 shares and "Meet My Folks" (7.7/20) by 10 shares, according to prelims.
National ratings for Monday were delayed until Wednesday due to the Martin Luther King holiday. Ratings for the week of Jan. 13-19 also will be issued Wednesday.