Disney Scores With ‘Ferb’ Debut


Disney Channel kicked off its month-long run of episodes from its new animated series Phineas and Ferb on a high ratings note.

The Feb. 1, 15-minute debut episode of the series generated 4 million viewers, the second highest ever for a Disney animated series behind the 4.1 million garnered by the October 2003 premiere of Lilo & Stitch: The Series.

But the show’s premiere fell short of the 10.8 million viewers an Aug. 17 Phineas and Ferb pilot episode drew. That show served as the lead-out program for High School Musical 2, which drew a cable movie record 17.2 million viewers in its initial window. 

Among the network’s target tween demo, Phineas and Ferb, which follows the summer vacation exploits of two nerdy step-brothers, finished as the most -watched animated series premiere in cable history, drawing 1.6 million 9-to-14 year olds.

The show, which will run a new episode every night at 8 p.m. throughout February, also proved to be a strong lead-in to the network’s premiere of the animated movie The Incredibles, which drew 5.7 million viewers – tops for the night among cable programs.

In fact, with the performances of Phineas and Ferb, The Incredibles and a new episode of The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody (3.8 million viewers), Disney delivered three of the top five shows for the night. Episodes of USA Network’s Monk (5.4 million) and Psych (4.3 million) rounded out the top five.