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For NBC, ‘The Cape’ Premiere Not Too Shabby

It’s the best Sunday in a while, and rating better than any other genre show

It’s just two episodes old, yet the television viewing world wants to know: How long with “The Cape” last?

It might be a little while, at least. Thanks to the network it’s on.

“The Cape” debuted to a 5.0 rating/8 share in Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co. Sunday. While it finished behind competition from both CBS and ABC, it did give NBC its best numbers since the season finale of “The Celebrity Apprentice” last May. But then again, NBC has not shown any original programming on Sunday since because of football.

The double-episode of “The Cape” — starring David Lyons, James Frain, Jennifer Ferrin and Summer Glau — actually held on to its audience for the second hour, a promising sign for a show, meaning audiences checking out the first episode decided to stay for the second. That could help if that audience carries over to Mondays next week, as it would be the network’s highest-rated Monday series of the season.

No other genre show is scoring as high as “The Cape’s” premiere. Yet, “The Cape” is not the biggest genre premiere of the season. That title belongs to another NBC show, “The Event,” which premiered to a 6.8/10, followed by ABC’s “No Ordinary Family,” which debuted at a 6.3/10. Both shows, however, have since fallen well under the 5.0 household mark.

“No Ordinary Family” is averaging a 4.6/7 while “The Event” has slipped to a 4.2/6.

NBC has struggled considerably with its lineup this season. It has no shows in the top 25. In fact, its highest-rated show is the new “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” coming in at No. 28. In terms of genre programming, “No Ordinary Family” is the first to hit the overall list at No. 36.

It’s difficult to judge a show immediately out the gate. Whether it will last beyond the spring will take a few weeks to determine. But we’ll get our first indication next week when “The Cape” moves to its regular time of Mondays at 9 p.m.

Top Genre Premieres, 2010-11 — [Current Average]

1.    The Event (NBC)    6.8/10    [4.2/6]
2.    No Ordinary Family (ABC)    6.3/10    [4.6/7]
3.    The Cape (NBC)    5.0/7    [5.0/8]
4.    V (ABC)    4.0/6    [4.0/6]
5.    Fringe (Fox)    3.5/5    [3.2/5]
5.    Chuck (NBC)    3.5/5    [3.3/5]
7.    Vampire Diaries (CW)    2.0/3    [2.1/4]
8.    Smallville (CW)    1.7/3    [1.6/3]
8.    Supernatural (CW)    1.7/3    [1.4/3]

Fast Nationals usually provide a snapshot of what Americans are watching by pulling numbers from the top urban markets that include both live viewing and same-day timeshifted viewing. A rating point generally represents more than 1.1 million households while the share indicates the percentage of televisions turned on that was tuned to the specific program. These numbers typically shift when final ratings are issued.

Data collected from The Nielsen Co., as distributed by Zap2it. BlipNetwork tracks non-news, non-event programming, and figures for this story reflect airing of new episodes only. For more information on the Audience Loyalty Index, click here.

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