February 28, 2007 / 6:02 AM / 12 years ago

Adult Swim makes ratings splash after fiasco

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Adult Swim, which recently triggered a terrorism scare over a disastrous promotional stunt involving its series “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” broke basic cable viewership records this month in several demos.

Cartoon Network’s late-night sister channel attributed the boost to marathons of acquired series “Family Guy” and “Futurama.” “Aqua Teen” saw only a slight increase in ratings after the stunt.

Last month, a guerrilla marketing campaign for “Aqua Teen” led to a daylong terrorism scare in Boston after blinking boxes featuring a character from the show that had been placed around the city and elsewhere nationwide were mistaken for bombs. As a result, parent company Turner Broadcasting System had to pay Boston-area authorities $2 million to settle claims, and Cartoon Network general manager Jim Samples resigned.

Adult Swim set basic cable monthly records in total-day delivery in adults 18-34 (460,000, up 28% compared with February 2006), adults 18-24 (280,000, up 32%), males 18-34 (283,000, up 25%) and males 18-24 (169,000, up 20%). It also extended its streak as the No. 1 channel among males 18-24 to 23 consecutive months and ranked third among basic cable networks for total-day delivery in adults 18-49.

It’s likely that Adult Swim got a boost from the fact that Nielsen Media Research is now including college students who live away from home in its ratings information.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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