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Charmed Charms Sunday Viewers

The WB Television Network's Charmed
opened to numbers that surprised even The WB, winning the night in women 18-34 and setting a network record for a Sunday-night series in that demo and in adults 18-34.

The two-hour season premiere was up 27% in women 18-34, 10% in adults 18-34, 18% in females 12-34 and 7% in adults 18-49, while holding steady in viewers.

The test this week will be if The WB's new series, Tarzan
, can hold or beat that lead-in on Sundays at 9 p.m.

Another bright spot on the first Sunday of premiere week were CBS' Cold Case
, which significantly improved the time period over last season's sitcom combo of Becker
and Bram & Alice

Cold Case
boosted the time slot in viewers by 40%, in adults 18-49 by 21% and in adults 25-54 by 26%.

The "CBS Sunday Movie," 12 Mile
, starring Tom Selleck, seemed to get a lift from Cold Case
's performance, jumping 80% in viewers, 30% in adults 25-54 and 12% in adults 18-49 versus last year's Sunday night movie.

12 Mile
was CBS' most-watched Sunday-night movie since The Marriage Fool
 Sept. 20, 1998.

While CBS and The WB were up Sunday, NBC was mixed and ABC was down.

NBC's Dateline
at 7 p.m. turned in a strong performance, up 67% in adults 18-49, but the rest of the schedule didn't look as strong.

American Dreams
dropped 19% in adults 18-49, Law & Order: Criminal Intent
was up 6% in the demo and the season premiere of The Lyon's Den
was down 14% in the time period versus last year's opening of the relatively low-rated Boomtown

At ABC, America's Funniest Home Videos
dropped 14% in adults 18-49 compared with Wonderful World of Disney
in the slot last year (although WWOD
did well in its new Saturday-night spot).

Funniest Home Videos
also dropped 14% versus its Friday-night performance last year.

New cop drama 10-8
dropped 37% in the key adult demo compared with the second hour of WWOD
, while Alias
dropped 18% and a recast The Practice
dropped 25%.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.