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Factor Striking 'Fear' Into Rivals

NBC's new reality show Fear Factor, lambasted by the critics, answered back by handily winning its timeslot in its Monday-night debut.

Fear Factor, which aired from 8 to 9 p.m., averaged 11.9 million viewers, easily winning the hour and dominating all key demos including adults 18-49 and women 18-49. 

In Fear Factor, hosted by former NewsRadio star Joe Rogan, six people each week are challenged with different stunts  including being covered with live rats (a highlight of Monday's premiere), jumping from a moving jet ski onto a helicopter and escaping from a car submerged in a tank of water. 

Monday's debut delivered the highest rating for an NBC summer premiere of a new series in nearly seven years  since Dateline premiered in June 1994 on a Thursday night. 

Compared to NBC's Summer 2000 timeslot average, Fear Factor was up 63 percent in adults 18-49 and a whopping 92 percent in men 18-49. 

It also held a 27 percent advantage in total viewers over its nearest timeslot competitor. 

Fear Factor, in fact, helped lead NBC to a dominant Monday-night victory. NBC averaged 4.9 million households in adults 18-49 and averaged 11.1 million viewers overall. 

It also marked the first time that NBC won all six half hours of prime time in adults 18-49 on a Monday without sports since Feb. 8, 1999. 

As of last week, NBC had only filmed nine episodes of Fear Factor  a number that is sure to increase if the reality show's ratings continue on a similar path. 

Fear Factor also led to another stellar performance from Weakest Link, which has also been airing during halftime of NBC's coverage of the NBA Finals. 

 

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