David 18 Sep 2009 http://www.medialifemagazine.com/artman2/publish/Cable_65recap/For_Chris_lots_to_like_about_Nick_at_Nite.asp 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 channels 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 shows. 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 theyve 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. Theres 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, its new to you.