Bull Wasnt the Rage

Turner Network Television didn't post any ratings gains for the premiere of its first original drama series last week, but network executives remained bullish.

Bull, based on Wall Street hijinx, premiered last Tuesday at 8 p.m, with TNT repeating the one-hour series at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. The show averaged a 1.1 Nielsen Media Research rating and 854,000 households.

The program-which is produced by TNT's Warner Bros. corporate sibling-pulled a 3.3 gross rating and 2.5 million households for the three runs.

Bull pulled its highest rating during the 8 p.m. premiere, which generated a 1.5 rating and 1.146 million households. The 9 p.m. repeat posted a 0.9 rating and 734,000 households, and the 10 p.m. run pulled a 0.9 and 683,000 households.

A TNT spokesman wouldn't discuss whether the program met its projected ratings, but noted that the network was happy with Bull's performance. "It clearly met our expectations," he said.

TNT said it's difficult to provide a true apples-to-apples comparison on how Bull performed compared with what ran previously in its time slot, since the network usually runs movies during its Tuesday primetime schedule.

But TNT has averaged a 1.1 rating and 810,000 households so far this year from 8 p.m. to midnight, which is flat with Bull's performance from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. last week.

Created by Law & Order writer Michael Chernuchin, Bull tells the story of six young stockbrokers who split from their established firm to form their own brokerage house. The cast includes Stanley Tucci, who won an Emmy Award nomination for his bad-guy role on defunct crime series Murder One, which is carried by A & E Network.

TNT ordered 13 episodes of Bull. The network will premiere new episodes every Tuesday at 10 p.m., and it will repeat the show Tuesdays at midnight, Fridays at 10 p.m. and Mondays at 11 p.m.