The force was certainly with Cartoon Network as its Oct. 3 premiere of Star Wars: Clone Wars posted a record network series debut audience of 3.9 million viewers.
The Lucasfilm animation series drew more than 1 million more viewers than Cartoon Network’s previous top premiere show, Ben 10: Alien Force, which logged 2.8 million viewers last November, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
The CG-animated series also attracted 1.2 million viewers 9 to 14, the largest tweens audience for any premiere telecast in Cartoon’s 16-year history. The one-hour new series premiere also reigned as the top program from 9 p.m. to10 p.m. among all major kids networks among the 6-to-11 group(1.4 million), 2 to 11 (1.8 million), and tweens. The series also earned triple digit increases in several key demos –kids 2 to 11, 6-11, boys 2 to 11, 6 to 11 and 9 to 14 — compared to the same period last year.
Cartoon Network also premiered another original animated series, The Secret Saturdays, to serve as its lead-in for the all-new Friday night fantasy-action-adventure lineup. In the 8 p.m. hour, The Secret Saturdays earned 35% more kids 6-to-11 viewers and 86% more boys 6 to 11 than programming that appeared in the same time period in 2007. Moreover, the series debut also increased kids 2-to-11 delivery by 47%, boys 2-to-11 delivery by 67%, tweens 9-to-14 delivery by 23% and boys 9-to-14 delivery by 60%, according to Nielsen data.
“This is a great start for our new night of fantasy-action-adventure programming,” said Stuart Snyder, president and COO of Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media group in a statement. “Kids and their parents made it a point to tune in to the amazing storytelling and brilliant animation of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars. We are looking forward to building on this foundation and are thrilled with this turnout and record numbers for Cartoon Network.”
R. Thomas Umstead — Multichannel News, 10/6/2008 10:59:00 AM