`Black.White.' is instant hit

March 11, 2006|By DAVID ZURAWIK

Cable channel FX has found a ratings winner in Black.White., a new reality series featuring middle-class families switching racial identities with the help of Hollywood makeup experts.

The series produced by rapper Ice Cube and documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler drew the most young viewers for a premiere in the history of cable TV Wednesday night. (Its audience of 2.8 million viewers 18-to-49 tied MTV's The Osbournes premiere on March 5, 2002. The 18-to-49 demographic is the most desired in television.)

Black.White. was also a winner in overall viewership, drawing an audience of 4 million viewers of all ages -- second only to the heavily promoted premiere of The Anna Nicole Show on the E! cable channel in 2002.

Most impressive is that Black.White. drew such a large audience while going head to head with the season finale of Project Runway, which drew 3.4 million viewers (2.5 million young viewers) -- the largest audience in Bravo channel history.

New episodes of Black White. will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. through April 12. Repeats of Wednesday's premiere will air at midnight today and 11 p.m. tomorrow on FX.

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