"Star Wars," "Battlestar" lead cable ratings

Tue Apr 8, 2008 10:48pm EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It was quite a weekend for sci-fi fans as Spike TV aired three movies in the "Star Wars" saga, and "Battlestar Galactica" returned with a new episode on Sci Fi Channel.

"Galactica," which had its fourth and final season premiere at 10 p.m. Friday, drew 2.1 million viewers, a 19% increase over the series' so-called "Season 3.5" premiere in January 2007, according to Nielsen Media Research.

It also was up in the key demo of adults 18-49 (up 11% to 1.4 million, its best showing since January 2006).

Meanwhile, Spike TV aired the first three "episodes" of the "Star Wars" saga during the weekend. Tops among the trio was "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith," which averaged 4.2 million viewers from 8-11 p.m. Sunday. That made it the highest-rated movie in the network's history and the highest-rated movie of the year among ad-supported cable networks in adults 18-49 (2.4 million viewers).

Meanwhile, "Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace" drew 2.8 million viewers from 8-11 p.m. Friday, and "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones" averaged 3.3 million from 8-11 p.m. Saturday.

Spike also touted the fact that the three "Star Wars" movies averaged 3.5 million viewers overall, beating head-to-head competition with TNT's airings of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, which averaged 2.7 million viewers.

The remaining three "Star Wars" movies air on Spike this weekend.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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