Disney Film Casts Ratings Spell

An original film centering on twin sisters with magical powers helped Disney Channel conjure up best-ever performances across a host of demographic metrics and materialize at the top of the cable industry’s primetime ratings.

Led by the premiere runs of new original movie Twitches, starring Sister, Sister’s Tia and Tamera Mowry, Disney Channel ranked first in primetime the week of Oct. 10 through Oct. 16 with a 3.0 household rating average, according to Nielsen Media Research data. That performance, which tied Disney Channel’s best-ever ratings result, gave the network a 0.9 point-advantage over both TNT and USA Network.

Overall, Disney averaged some 2.65 million viewers for the week, its highest average total delivery.

Research executives at the network said that over the aforementioned span, Disney Channel posted its highest ever primetime delivery of kids 6 to 11, tweens 9 to 14, girls 6 to 11, girls 9 to 14 and boys 9 to 14.

Gauged on a total-programming-day basis, Disney notched its top delivery among households (its 1.4 average was tied for second with Nick at Nite behind perennial leader Nickelodeon’s 1.8), total viewers, girls 6 to 11 and girls 9 to 14, according to network officials.

Measured against all basic-cable competition, Disney Channel, in addition to leading among households and total viewers, ranked first among kids 6 to 11 and tweens 9 to 14 that week.

Driving the record results was Twitches, whose Oct. 14 premiere at 8 p.m. was the medium’s highest-rated show of the week with a 5.3 household mark. That translated into some 3.1 million total viewers and industry-leading marks among demographic groups including kids, tweens, boys and girls.

All told, the first four airings of the telefilm drew some 21.5 million total viewers and 13 million unduplicated households. The movie — from Broomsticks Productions Ltd. and based on a book by H.B. Gimour and Randi Reisfeld — is slated to air five more times across this month.

Disney’s fortunes were also stoked by other spooky fare like original movie Halloweentown High and comedy Hocus Pocus, as well as installments of signature series That’s So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Along with the Twitches multiple plays, Disney Channel captured 10 of the top 20 shows of the week, according to Nielsen data.

“We have always driven Disney Channel through the variety of programming we showcase,” said Disney Channel Worldwide president Rich Ross. “Our series, such as That’s So Raven and The Suite Life and our Disney Channel Original Movies are performing at A+ levels in the ratings. Twitches was just icing on the cake as it combined great series talent with our highest-rated genre, the Halloween movie.”

Back in primetime, ESPN ranked fourth during the week of Oct. 10-16 with a 1.7, ahead of Nick at Nite’s 1.5. Fox News Channel and Cartoon Network were knotted in the six hole with a 1.4, while Lifetime Television and TBS, both with a 1.3, and Spike TV, with a 1.1 average, completed the top 10.