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[04/23/03 - 12:00 AM]
'Angel'S' Future Getting Brighter on the Wb
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Things have been looking up as of late for the WB's struggling drama "Angel." Last week's episode was seen by 4.1 million viewers, its largest audience since moving to Wednesday nights three months ago. More importantly, that episode marked its best adults 18-49 numbers (2.3/6) since its season premiere and its best male demographics in more than two years.

Equally impressive has been "Angel's" recent ability to build on its lead-in audience. Since taking over the Wednesday, 9:00/8:00c slot in January the fourth-year drama has built on "Dawson's Creek's" numbers by 19% on average, including a cool one million viewers last week. That's a stark contrast from earlier this season when "Angel" was losing 17% of "Charmed's" lead-in on Sunday nights.

Nevertheless, "Angel's" Wednesday performance on average remains its least watched period to date. Through its dozen airings so far on Wednesday nights this season, the series is averaging 3.68 million viewers, down 11% from its seven fresh Sunday installments (4.13 million) earlier this season. Both runs are down 19% and 10% respectively from its first-run average of 4.55 million viewers last season where it aired Monday nights at 9:00/8:00c. And, not too surprisingly, all three periods fall behind its 2000-01 season first-run average of 4.79 million viewers when it followed "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on Tuesday nights.

Look for the WB to officially decide "Angel's" fate during the week of May 12 when the network announces its fall 2003 schedule at its annual upfront presentation in New York City.





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· ANGEL (WB)
· BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (UPN)
· CHARMED (WB)
· DAWSON'S CREEK (WB)





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