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TV Notes: Special 'West Wing' a winner with viewers

Saturday, October 06, 2001

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

Viewers flocked to the special, rushed-into-production, terrorist attack-themed episode of NBC's "The West Wing" on Wednesday night, giving the show its largest audience ever, about 25 million viewers.

The second episode of UPN's "Enterprise" continued to show signs of strength, ranking second behind ABC's comedies. Those included the series premiere of "According to Jim," which, despite taking a critical drubbing, built on its lead-in from "My Wife and Kids" in several key demographics.

The numbers of younger viewers for CBS's "The Amazing Race" and "Wolf Lake" were also up, but the total audience for those shows remains small.

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh-set legal drama "The Guardian" continued to perform well for CBS in its 9 p.m. time slot. In its second broadcast Tuesday, the show again ranked second, behind "Frasier" and ahead of the premiere of "Bob Patterson" on ABC. Ratings for "The Guardian" were down slightly, but the drop was not precipitous.

After tying with "Frasier" in Pittsburgh last week, "The Guardian" dropped to second place this week.

NBC's "Scrubs" got off to a decent start in its premiere telecast, but ABC continues to struggle. Tuesday night, only "Philly" was watched by more than 10 million viewers, and still it ranked third in its time period.

The move by "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" from The WB to UPN paid off for UPN, which saw the show get its second-highest ratings in history when the title character rose from the dead Tuesday night. Ratings were higher than the show's WB season premiere last year.

Miles as interviewer

WQED president George Miles interviews actress Shirley Jones for tonight's half-hour edition of the "Oldies Drive-In."

"A Conversation with Shirley Jones" airs at 6 p.m., before the premiere of "The Very Best of the Ed Sullivan Show" (8 p.m.), which Jones hosts.

'Farscape' renewed

The Sci Fi Channel original series "Farscape" has been renewed for an additional two seasons. The network yesterday announced 44 new episodes will go into production, making up the series' fourth and fifth seasons (22 episodes each).

Reruns of past episodes are airing at 8 p.m.Monday through Thursday. The final four episodes of the show's third season will air in January.

Host named

The daily syndicated edition of NBC's "Weakest Link," scheduled to debut Jan. 7, 2002, will be hosted by George Gray, who most recently hosted "Junkyard Wars" on The Learning Channel. Anne Robinson will continue as host of the prime-time edition of "Weakest Link."

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