Black. White. debut ties the record for highest-rated cable debut in 18-49; Top Model sets record

FX’s social experiment Black. White. pulled in 3.98 million viewers overall on Wednesday night.

With a 2.1 rating among people ages 18 to 49, the show “matched the basic cable record in 18-49 for a reality [show] by MTV’s ‘The Osbournes,'” Variety reports. And the premiere “did especially well among young men, with its 2.2/8 in men 18-34, putting it ahead of ABC’s ‘Invasion’ and behind only dramas ‘CSI: NY’ on CBS and ‘Law & Order’ on NBC.” That’s especially impressive for a show that airs on cable.

Perhaps most surprising, that show and the finale of Project Runway 2 set records for their respective networks, and both aired at the exact same time.

On UPN, the premiere of Top Model 6 “grew with each half-hour and exploded at 9 when Fox’s ‘Idol’ went off the air,” according to Variety. The show “set premiere records for the franchise in virtually all key categories, ranking second only to Fox in adults 18-34 from 8 to 10.”

Clearly, there’s an audience for reality TV, as long as the show doesn’t suck.

Reality skeins break records [Variety]
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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.