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A Ratings Coup to Start Sweeps Season

April 27, 2002

The finale of "The Bachelor" provided ABC some good ratings news for a change, as the dating program steadily built over its two hours Thursday to help the network score a competitive finish in the opening night of the TV season's final rating sweeps.

Starting at just 9.6 million viewers opposite "Friends" (viewed by an estimated 22.2 million people), "The Bachelor" built to 19.5 million in its final half-hour--second only to CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"--as bachelor Alex Michel revealed which woman he had chosen.

Overall, the concluding hour averaged 18.2 million viewers. Notably, an estimated 10.2% of women age 18 to 49 watched the program, compared with 4.4% of men in that demographic, based on a breakdown of Nielsen Media Research data. The percentage was even slightly higher among women age 18 to 34.

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