CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The WB Network achieved several new all-time season records and secured the strongest growth of any broadcast network across the 18-34 demographics as well as adults 18-49 for the entire 2002-2003 broadcast season. The WB surpassed its previous all-time highs, scoring new ratings records for a season in adults 18-34 (2.1/6) and women 18-34 (2.6/7) and equaled its highest rated broadcast season ever in adults 18-49 (1.8/5), women 18-49 (2.2/6), men 18-34 (1.5/5) and men 18-49 (1.3/4). The WB also matched its second highest season delivery ever in persons 12-34 (2.1/6).
Despite the industry-leading gains among adult viewers, The WB�s median age of 31, which is the lowest on network television, remained the same year-to-year.
The WB posted the largest percent increases versus the prior season of any network in adults 18-34 (up +17%) and adults 18-49 (up +13%), as well as men 18-34 (up +15%), men 18-49 (up +8%), males 12-34 (up +15%), women 18-34 (up +13%) and total viewers (up +8%). The network also delivered season-to-season growth in persons 12-34 (up +5%), women 12-34 (up +4%) and women 18-49 (up +10%) � translating to gains across all 12-34, 18-34 and 18-49 demographics.
The WB�s May sweep was in line with its phenomenal season as the network scored its best May sweep ever in adults 18-34 (2.2/7), adults 18-49 (1.9/5), women 18-34 (2.9/8) and men 18-34 (1.5/5), and matched its highest-ever May sweep numbers in women 18-49 (2.4/6) and men 18-49 (1.3/4). With a 2.9 rating in women 18-34, The WB equaled its second highest delivery ever in any sweep. The network was only one of two networks to achieve growth versus last May in both adults 18-34 (up +5%) and adults 18-49 (up +6%). The WB also posted year-to-year gains in women 18-34 (up +7%), women 18-49 (up +4%) and women 12-34 (up +3%). The WB defeated CBS handily in May among women 12-34, and trailed ABC by just one-tenth of a rating point in that key demo. The race was also extremely tight between The WB, ABC and CBS in persons 12-34 and women 18-34, with less than five-tenths of a rating point separating the three networks. The WB delivered growth among adults 18-34 on five of the six nights it programs.
For the season, The WB defeated CBS for the season in The WB�s target demographic of women 12-34 (2.7/8). The WB�s dramas were among the most-watched on television in the network�s target demos as it had 5 of the top 20 dramas in women 12-34 and 4 of the top 20 dramas in persons 12-34 and women 18-34 as well as 8 of the top 20 dramas in teens and female teens.
The success of The WB was not limited to one night or one program, as the network maintained or gained on nearly every night of the week in both adults 18-34 and adults 18-49. While The WB Monday held its always strong deliveries steady, The WB Tuesday improved +19% in adults 18-34 over last season, The WB Wednesday was up +14% in adults 18-34, The WB Friday gained +8% and The WB Sunday, perhaps the greatest success story of the season, was up a dramatic +50% over last season�s performance in adults 18-34. The WB Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday line-ups also achieved growth over the prior season in adults 18-49.
THE WB MONDAY
Completing its seventh season, 7TH HEAVEN continued to deliver on Mondays, ranking #3 in its time period in women 12-34 (4.1/12) and persons 12-34 (3.0/9) and #1 in female teens (5.7/17). 7TH HEAVEN is the top-rated drama on television in female teens, and is The WB�s highest rated series in women 18-49 (3.5/9), women 12-34, female teens and teens. The family drama is the second highest rated program on the network in persons 12-34 and adults 18-49, and is in a virtual tie for first with Smallville in total viewers (6.7 million),
EVERWOOD has brought young viewers back to the Monday, 9 p.m. time period for The WB, improving the hour versus last season in persons 12-34 (2.2/6, up +5%), women 12-34 (2.8/7, up +8%), teens 12-17 (2.7/8, up +8%) and female teens (3.9/12, up +22%).
THE WB TUESDAY
The WB New Tuesday raised The WB to a new level this season as the network placed a strong #2 for the night across all 12-34, 18-34 and teen demographics � with only American Idol fueled FOX finishing ahead of the network. Along with the outstanding rankings on the night, The WB also posted impressive growth over last season across all 12-34, 18-34 and 18-49 demos, with a +19% gain in adults 18-34 (3.2/9) and a +13% gain in adults 18-49 (2.6/7).
GILMORE GIRLS ranked #2 in its time period this season in women 12-34 (4.2/12), female teens (4.9/16) and teens 12-17 (3.3/11), and finished #3 in the hour among adults 18-34 (2.8/8), women 18-34 (3.9/11) and persons 12-34 (2.9/9). GILMORE GIRLS is tied as The WB�s highest rated series among women 12-34 (4.2/12). GILMORE GIRLS ranked among the top three programs on The WB in persons 12-34, adults 18-34, women 18-34, adults 18-49, women 18-49 and teens 12-17. Vs. last season, during which it was the fastest-growing show on television, GILMORE GIRLS continues to grow despite having to air against American Idol in the latter part of the season, building +4% in persons 12-34, +12% in adults 18-34, +8% in women 18-34 and +5% in adults 18-49, as well as posting gains across the male demos.
Sophomore sensation SMALLVILLE delivered both outstanding year-to-year growth and extremely competitive time period performance. ). SMALLVILLE ranked among the top five dramas on television in persons 12-34 (4.0/11), men 18-34 (3.7/11), men 12-34 (3.8/11) and teens 12-17 (3.8/12) and is tied with CSI as the top drama among male teens (4.0/12).
The drama ranked #2 in its time slot across nearly all 12-34 and 18-34 demographics, and finished #1 for the hour in all teen demos. SMALLVILLE secured impressive increases over its hit first season across all 12-34, 18-34 and 18-49 demos, with growth of +21% in adults 18-34 (4.0/11), +26% in women 18-34 (4.3/11), +22% in adults 18-49 (3.3/8) and +21% in women 18-49 (3.4/8The show also finished the season in a virtual tie with 7th Heaven as The WB�s most-watched show and was the network�s highest rated show among persons 12-34, adults 18-34, adults 18-49 and across all male demos.
THE WB WEDNESDAY
The WB Wednesday improved over last season in adults 18-34 (2.4/7, up +4%), adults 18-49 (1.9/5, up +19%), women 18-49 (2.3/6, up +5%), total viewers (3.8 million, up +11%) and across all male demos. The WB defeated CBS for the night in persons 12-34, women 12-34, adults 18-34 and women 18-34, as well as teens and female teens, ranking #3 for the night in the latter two demos.
DAWSON�S CREEK�S final season ended on an exceptionally high note as the coming of age drama�s series finale set all-time high ratings for The WB in women 18-34 (9.1/21) and adults 18-34 (6.6/18), and scoring series highs across a number of other demos. For the season, DAWSON�S CREEK tied as The WB�s top-rated series in women 18-34 (4.3/12) and was the second-highest-rated series on The WB in adults 18-34 (3.1/9). Over the course of the season, DAWSON�S CREEK ranked #3 in its time period in adults 18-34, women 18-34, persons 12-34 (2.8/8), women 12-34 (3.9/11) and female teens (2.7/9). The final season of DAWSON�S CREEK outscored the prior season, posting growth in adults 18-34 (+11%), women 18-34 (+13%), men 18-34 (+6%), adults 18-49 (+11%), women 18-49 (+8%), persons 12-34 (+8%), women 12-34 (+5%) and men 12-34 (+6%).
ANGEL�S switch to Wednesday night in January proved to be a prosperous move for both the program and the network, bringing especially strong growth versus the parallel time period last season across the male demos. ANGEL delivered year-to-year gains to the time period of +125% in men 12-34 (1.8/5), +90% in men 18-34 (1.9/6), +125% in men 18-49 (1.8/4) and +167% in male teens (1.6/5). The program also posted solid growth in adults 18-34 (2.2/6, up +22%), adults 18-49 (2.0/5, up +43%) and persons 12-34 (2.0/6, up +18%), as well as total viewers (3.7 million, up +33%). ANGEL ranked as one of the top 5 series on The WB in men 12-34, men 18-49 and male teens.
THE WB FRIDAY
The WB Friday comedy block ranked #1 for the night in female teens (2.6/11) finished #3 in women 12-34 (2.1/8) and male teens. The night of comedy delivered growth over the prior season in adults 18-34 (1.4/5, up +8%), women 18-34 (2.0/7, up +11%), women 18-49 (1.8/6, up +13%), persons 12-34 (1.6/6, up +7%) and men 12-34 (1.0/4, up +11%).
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU achieved solid gains over the 8 p.m. time period last season, building +15% in rating in adults 18-34 (1.5/6) and also posting growth in women 18-34 (2.0/8, up +11%), persons 12-34 (1.6/7, up +7%), women 12-34 (2.1/9, up +5%), adults 18-49 (1.3/4, up +8%) and women 18-49 (1.7/6, up +13%). For the season, the comedy ranked #1 in the half hour in female teens, and #3 in women 12-34.
The WB�s top-rated comedy, REBA, delivered growth over its freshman season in adults 18-34 (1.7/6, up +13%), women 18-34 (2.4/8, up +9%), men 18-34 (1.0/4, up +11%), adults 18-49 (1.7/5, up +6%), women 18-49 (2.3/7, up +10%) and total viewers (4.6 million, up +7%). REBA ranked #1 in the time period in female teens (2.8/12), #2 in women 12-34 (2.5/9) and #3 in women 18-34 (2.4/8) and male teens.
GROUNDED FOR LIFE has brought outstanding gains to the 9:30 p.m. time period since its February premiere on The WB. The family comedy posted double-digit growth over the parallel period a year ago across all 12-34, 18-34 and 18-49 demos, including a +50% gain in both adults 18-34 (1.5/6) and adults 18-49 (1.5/4). GROUNDED FOR LIFE also did an excellent job of retaining its Reba lead-in, consistently retaining over 90% of its lead-in rating in key demos, many weeks building on its highly rated lead-in.
THE WB SUNDAY
The WB Sunday achieved the strongest year-to-year growth of any night on The WB this season, and was one of the lynch pins of the network�s success. The WB Sunday posted double-digit percent increases across nearly every key demo, with a +50% gain in adults 18-34 (1.8/5), +77% growth in women 18-34 (2.3/6), +45% in adults 18-49 (1.6/4) and +67% growth in women 18-49 (2.0/5). The WB Sunday also posted terrific growth in total viewers, building +38% and nearly a million viewers over last season.
CHARMED made Sundays at 8:00 p.m. its own, scoring dramatic gains across all key demos vs. the time period last season and driving a revitalized Sunday for The WB. In what is believed to be an unprecedented accomplishment on any network, CHARMED has set ratings records for The WB is all three time periods it has aired in. The magical drama improved the time period by +131% in women 18-34 (3.0/8), by +100% in both women 12-34 (3.0/9) and women 18-49 (2.6/6), +92% in adults 18-34 (2.3/6), +77% in persons 12-34 (2.3/6) and +67% in adults 18-49 (2.0/5). CHARMED was also up over last season in all male and teen demographics, as well as total viewers (4.5 million, up +64%.) CHARMED is included in the top 20 dramas on television in women 12-34 and teens. The show is a favorite among The WB�s viewers, finishing among the network�s highest-rated series in persons 12-34, women 12-34, women 18-34, women 18-49, female teens, adults 18-49 and men 18-49.
Another program that brought significant growth to The WB Sunday was HIGH SCHOOL REUNION, which aired in the 9:00 p.m. hour from January 5 through February 16, 2003. The series secured double-digit gains over the parallel weeks from the prior season, improving the time period by +69% in adults 18-34 (2.2/5), +100% in women 18-34 (2.8/7), +64% in persons 12-34 (2.3/6) and +88% in women 12-34 (3.0/7), as well as posting strong growth in all other key young demos.
The above is taken from the WB's press release concerning its 2002-03 season performance.