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'Greek Life' premiere a hit for CBS

February 26, 2003|Brian Lowry

Let the puns about big fat ratings fly, as Monday's debut of "My Big Fat Greek Life" weighed in with the biggest audience for a comedy series premiere on any network in more than four years.

The family sitcom -- adapted from the hit independent film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" -- averaged 22.9 million viewers, based on Nielsen Media Research estimates, making it the first adjacent CBS program to improve on a new episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" (which, at 22.2 million, posted its highest rating since September).

The last sitcom to open with a larger audience was NBC's "Jesse," starring Christina Applegate, which premiered after "Friends" in 1998.

Featuring nearly all the movie's original cast, "My Big Fat Greek Life" will move into its regular home on Sunday against "The Simpsons." If the show retains 60% of its preview audience, that would still represent a significant improvement over CBS' average in the time slot.

-- Brian Lowry

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