'Roots' Redux Rates a Record


Twenty-five years after it debuted on ABC, the epic Roots
miniseries broke ratings records for Hallmark Channel during its six-night run last week.

All six-parts of the miniseries, tracking the trials and tribulations of an African-American family across several generations, broke the network's former primetime ratings mark of 1.4 set Jan. 13 for the Hallmark original movie Skylark. Roots
produced ratings ranging from a 1.4 on Jan. 21 for part two to a high of 1.8 on Jan. 22 and Jan. 24 during parts three and five of the miniseries, according to network executives.

also helped the channel achieve record performances overall. Hallmark doubled its January 2002 primetime and total-day averages to a respective 0.8 and 0.4 from January 2001 levels. The channel also notched its highest-ever rated week in primetime, averaging a 1.2 from Jan. 20 to Jan. 26.

wasn't the only miniseries to propel a network's ratings: the first two installments Discovery Channel's Blue Planet: Seas of Life
on Jan. 27 made a big splash with viewers.

The series averaged a 3.5 household rating from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen Media Research data. The first hour scored a 3.58, while the second notched a 3.39.

Those performances made them the highest-rated programs on basic cable that night, as well as the 11th- and 17th-highest-rated programs in Discovery's history, according to the network.

Some 9 million people tuned into the premiere episodes.

Although the special easily outpaced the network's 1.3 January primetime average, it didn't perform as well on its second night. Blue Planet
averaged a 2.06 household rating from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Jan. 28 and a 2.34 for the following hour.