UP Ascends In Ratings With 'Passion Of Christ' Premiere

The ratings went way up for UP with the commercial television premiere of The Passion of the Christ.

Mel Gibson’s graphic tale of Jesus’ final hours set a host of Nielsen marks on the UP, which aired the film, which grossed $612 million worldwide during its 2004 theatrical run, on Palm Sunday.

The film was UP’s top telecast ever with a 1.2 household coverage rating, which translated into an average audience of 1.1 million viewers on April 13, according to Nielsen data. The rating ranked eighth and the audience seventh in the time period among ad-supported cable

The Passion also yielded UP’s top performance among women 18 to 49 and 25 to 54, as well as with adults in both of those age groups. UP ranked 10th among women 25 to 54 and adults 25 to 54.  

UP, benefiting from the film and a number of other Bible-tied films, ascended to its strongest day ever in households, persons 18 to 49 and adults 25 to 54 on April 13 and the network's strongest week ever in household delivery.

“We knew that The Passion of the Christ would resonate with our audience and attract new viewers to UP as well," said Charley Humbard, president and CEO, UP. "The film is the centerpiece of our extensive Easter programming and truly epitomizes our holiday theme: ‘Easter Lives Here’. The Thursday night special encore presentation provides the perfect movie to watch before Good Friday.”