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Sopranos Rubs Out Ratings Record

Jackie Jr. wasn't the only one who got whacked during the season finale of
The Sopranos. Home Box Office's mob dramedy killed
in the Nielsens May 20.

The premiere of the concluding segment of The Sopranos' third season
registered an 18.7 rating/26 share in HBO's universe, according to Nielsen Media
Research. That performance translated into some 9.5 million viewers.

The concluding episode -- which left some viewers dissatisfied because
several story lines remained unresolved -- topped the show's first two
season-enders. The conclusion of the first season in 1999 notched a 12.6
rating/18 share in HBO homes, while season two climaxed with a 17.6 rating/23
share.

An HBO spokeswoman pointed out that the conclusion of season three ran for
the first time during the May sweeps, whereas its predecessors aired during
April of the respective years.

TheSopranos'
installment May 20 also beat broadcast competitors NBC, CBS and ABC during its
time slot among the 18-through-49 demo.

During its third season, The Sopranos averaged a 17.3 rating in HBO
homes for its Sunday premieres, a 27 percent jump from the 13.6 recorded during
the second season. In the first campaign, HBO averaged an 8.3 with its premiere
installments tracking the life and times of Tony, family and
crew.