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HBO Marches with Band of Brothers

11/06/2001 9:45 AM Eastern

Despite a falloff in ratings into the single digits for its final
installment, Band of Brothers, Home Box Office's epic World War II
miniseries, posted big numbers for the premium channel overall.

The 10-part miniseries -- chronicling the trials and tribulations of Easy
Company, the U.S. paratrooper outfit -- averaged a 12.6 rating/17 share within
HBO's universe for its premiere airings, according to Nielsen Media Research
data. That translated into an average of 4.4 million households and 6.9 million
viewers.

The final installment of the $125 million project -- TV's most expensive
effort to date -- Nov. 4 posted its lowest Nielsen mark, notching a 9.7/12 share
within HBO homes in the face of such tough competition as game seven of the
World Series and the Emmy Awards.

Relative to other recent notable HBO product, Band of Brothers lagged
behind the 17.3/24 share averages registered by the third-season premiere
episodes of The Sopranos.

It was more on par with the first-season premiere installments of Six Feet
Under
(11/17 share) and Sex and the City (12/18 share), the latter of
which earned cable's first-ever Emmy for best comedy Sunday.

An HBO spokesman said the network was 'thrilled' with Band of
Brothers
' performance, especially considering that it pulled advertising and
marketing for the miniseries in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The
first installment, before the attacks, pulled a 17.9 rating in HBO homes.

Band of Brothers outperformed another Tom Hanks-produced HBO miniseries
in the Nielsens. From theEarth to the Moon -- the 12-part
miniseries trailing the United States' push in the space race during the 1960s
-- averaged an 8.8 and 2.4 million households, according to HBO.

HBO is poised to team with Hanks' Playtone on another miniseries, this one
centering on the American Revolution, as the parties have partnered to option
the rights to David McCullough's best-selling John Adams biography of the
nation's second president.

The project could span 10 to 13 installments, according to published
reports.

In other series news, sources indicated that HBO is poised to renew a third
season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the wry comedy starring Seinfeld
co-creator Larry David.

HBO officials would neither confirm nor deny that the show will return for
fresh episodes beyond the current season's allotment.

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