Cable Originals Strike Ratings Gold

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Home Box Office’s March 12 premiere of The Sopranos wasn’t the only cable show to pound out strong primetime ratings for the night.

• VH1’s 90-minute finale of original reality series Flavor of Love set a network household-ratings record with an impressive 4.8, according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

The show -- in which 20 single women vied for the affections of rapper Flavor Flav -- was also the highest-rated ad-supported cable show for the week of March 6-12 and finished as the second-most-watched telecast out of all cable programs behind The Sopranos.

• ABC Family’s original film, Cutting Edge 2: Going for the Gold, posted a 2.8 household rating (3.4 million viewers) during the 7 p.m.-9 p.m. time period -- the highest-rated network original film in more than two years, according to network officials.

• The History Channel’s two-hour special, How William Shatner Changed the World, garnered a 1.4 household rating from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. The special -- hosted by Shatner and showing how scientists have advanced technology since the 1960s Star Trek series -- ranked No. 1 among men 25-54 versus all ad-supported cable networks for the time slot.

• Lifetime Television’s much hyped Cheerleader Nation one-hour original series debuted with a 1.4 household rating. The reality series -- which follows the lives of the members of a cheerleading squad --delivered a network reality-series record 1.1 rating among women 18-34 from 10 p.m.-11 p.m.

• ESPN’s 8 p.m.-10 p.m. premiere of its original movie, Through the Fire, which documented the life of National Basketball Association player Sebastian Telfair, averaged a 1.3 household rating.