Survivor Finale Posts Second-Highest Ratings of the Season
Wednesday night's airing of the two-hour conclusion of Survivor on CBS drew an astounding average of 51 million viewers, making the telecast the second-highest-rated show of the season behind the Super Bowl.
The huge audience is especially noteworthy in that it came during the summer. For years, the big TV networks assumed that viewers were not interested in watching TV during the warm weather of summer, and fed them a steady diet of reruns.
But the success first of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on Walt Disney's (DIS) ABC last summer (which turned into a runaway hit and propelled that network into the top spot for the entire 1999-2000 season) and now Survivor has prompted all the networks to revisit their summer programming strategies.Survivor, which is a knockoff of a similar show that first aired in Sweden, is built around a simple premise: Sixteen men and women of diverse ages and personalities were plopped on an island off Borneo in the South China Sea. At the end of each episode, the group voted to throw one person off the island until a single survivor -- in this case, corporate trainer Richard Hatch -- is left. Hatch walked away from the
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