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MyNetworkTV's Start in The Ratings Game

MyNetworkTV (MNT), handicapped by inheriting time periods impacted by viewer defections from the defunct UPN and The WB netlets and poor critical reviews for its soaps, among other factors, got off to a solid --but unspectacular --prime time metered market start Tuesday.

In the 44 metered markets, Desire at 8 p.m. grabbed a 1.1 rating/2 share against the strong premiere of Fox’s House (up 17% from a year ago to a 13.3//21 from a 12.2/18), while 9 p.m. entry Fashion House rose 22% to a 1.3/2.

Full national ratings won’t be available until Sept. 14.

In September 2005, UPN and WB affiliates switching to MNT averaged a 2.2 rating, while in August they were at a 1.6 rating.

MNT says nearly 85% of the markets retained at least 100% of share from Desire to Fashion House.

Market highlights included WWOR New York, where Fashion House held a full rating point advantage over an off-net rerun of Gilmore Girls (2.1 vs. 1.1) at 9 p.m and a slighter advantage at 8 against a WB rerun of Gilmore Girls on WPIX (1.8 vs. 1.4).

On WPWR Chicago, Desire improved 75% over a King of the Hill lead-in (0.7 vs. 0.4), with Fashion House rose 71% to a 1.2. Fashion House was up 20% versus its prior four-week time period average (1.2 vs. 1.0)

Across 10 local people meter markets, neither show was able to crack a 1.0 average rating in young demos. But MNT finished third in women 18-34 at 8 in New York (ahead of NBC, UPN and The WB) and fourth at 9.

Atlanta was also a solid performer, while the story was not as good for MNT demo-wise in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston.