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'Clone Wars' Debut Makes Cartoon History

Cartoon Network's new animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars was the most-watched premiere in the network's history, according to Cartoon and based on Nielsen overnight numbers for Friday, Oct. 1.

Clone Wars drew 3,958,000 viewers 2-plus, topping the April 18, 2008, premiere of Ben 10: Alien Force, which drew 2,889,000 viewers 2-plus.

The hour show was also tops in the 9-10 time period among all major kid demos, and a premiere record audience delivery for all those demos, according to a Cartoon spokesman.

Versus the same time period in 2007, in its target demo of young boys, Clone Wars was up 150% 2-11 with 1,395,000, up 160% in 6-11 with 1,159,000, and up 133% with 9-14 with 991,000.

Based on George Lucas’ enduring Star Wars franchise (Lucas is creator and executive producer of the 22-episode series), Clone Wars was backed by the biggest promotion campaign in the network's history, and was meant to draw parents and kids as well as launch Cartoon's new fantasy-action-adventure themed Friday night.