Ratings show `Survivor' appeals to younger adults

June 02, 2000|By David Zurawik

"Survivor," the new CBS "reality" series featuring 16 contestants vying for a $1 million prize on a South Pacific island, got off to a fast ratings start challenging "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

The "Survivor" premiere was seen by 15.6 million viewers Wednesday compared to 16.6 for "Millionaire," ABC's current ratings king of network television. But "Survivor" beat "Millionaire" in all the key younger demographics, which determine a series' real importance to advertisers, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen Media Research.

Among adults 18-to-49, "Survivor" scored a 6.1 rating and a 20 share vs. a 4.9 rating and 16 share for "Millionaire." With adults 18-to-34, "Survivor" scored a 6.6 rating and 23 share, the highest it has done with that lucrative demographic since the Grammy Awards telecast in February, according to CBS. (Ratings are the percentage of all TV sets. Share is the percentage of TV sets in use.)

Younger demographics are especially valuable to CBS, which has the oldest audience of any of the major broadcast networks. The only demographic group with which "Millionaire" did better than "Survivor" was the group of viewers 50 years or older.

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