Nick At Nite's "Everybody Hates Chris" reruns doing better than last year's CW

TV Arts


For 'Chris,' lots to
like about Nick at Nite
Odd duck on CW sees boost in ratings on its new home
By Tom Conroy

It's often the case that a show that moves from broadcast to cable
finds a second life in reruns.

Then there's the case of "Everybody Hates Chris." It's not only found
a second life on Nick at Night, it appears to found a whole new life.

Nick began airing "Chris” on Monday, Sept. 7, Labor Day, generally a
low-rated night. Yet the two airings still drew impressive numbers,

That was up 25 percent in 18-to-49-year-old viewers over the shows
airing in the same time period a year ago, according to Nick, and it
was the channel’s best live-action series premiere since “Home
Improvement” in 2007.

But perhaps even more impressive, those reruns bettered the ratings of
original episodes of "Chris" on its final season on the CW. Last year,
airing on Friday at 8 p.m., "Chris" averaged 1.68 million viewers.

"Chris" lost none of its momentum in its first week on Nick. Airing
double episodes in the 10 p.m. hour, it averaged 1.831 million
viewers. The two Saturday episodes scored the highest, with audiences

These numbers reflect the general evolution of cable television:
Whereas cable channels once succeeded by building concentrated niche
audiences that were negligible by the old Big Three network standards,
they now can attract competitive audiences with shows like "Chris"
with far broader appeal by scheduling them in blocks with similar

Though "Chris" debuted to hefty numbers in 2005, an audience of 7.6
million viewers, airing on the old UPN, it got lost in the shuffle
when the CW emerged the following year from what had been UPN and the
WB as the new network increasingly shifted its focus toward young
women with such series as “Gossip Girl” and “90210.”

"Chris” was eventually shuffled off to Fridays with another African-
American-oriented sitcom, “The Game,” and reruns of “America's Next
Top Model.”

By contrast, on Nick, "Chris" is central to its primetime strategy,
from Sunday to Thursday airing in the last hour of a block of
moderately edgy but family-oriented network-sitcom reruns that begins
with “Malcolm in the Middle” and continues with “The George Lopez
Show.” Viewers know they can flip to Nick at most hours of primetime
and find either a show they’ve grown to like or one that is similar
enough to keep them engaged.

What those three Nick sitcoms also have in common is that, unlike
syndication powerhouses like “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Seinfeld,”
they were never that popular during their broadcast runs. There’s a
good chance that the average Nick viewer is viewing an episode for the
first time.

As NBC used to say during summer reruns, “If you haven't seen it, it’s
new to you.”
Misleading data alert.
Wading through the symantics, it seems that Chris is up in viewers vs. last 
year, but not up in 18-49 (or likely 18-34) viewers, so the money producing 
viewership is down.  Meanwhile, Nick's timeslot is up in 18-49, but is that 
(18-49) the method of sales they use for ad rates on Nick?

Of course, the flip side of that is that Syfy now has wrestling and TLC/A&E 
now feature reality trash.  Every year we get more and more niche channels, 
but every year they become less and less 'niche'.

Also misleading.  While Chris debuted to hugh numbers, a big chunk of that 
viewership was long gone before the first season ever finished airing on 
UPN.  Then, when CW got created, Chris was 'lost in the shuffle' becasue of 
Smallville, not any of the female skew targets of the network.