Sci Fi Channel's $40 million miniseries, Taken, is stealing record
ratings for the network thus far.
With a 3.6 household rating for the Dec. 5
installment, the first four episodes of the highly touted Stephen
Spielberg-produced alien-abduction saga averaged a 4.2, according to Nielsen
Media Research. Although down from a 4.3 Dec. 4, Thursday's airing was still the
highest-rated in basic cable, according to a Sci Fi spokeswoman.
The Dec. 2 debut of the first of the 10 two-hour chapters captured a 4.9
rating for Sci Fi, 28 percent above what the network's previous single-show
record-holder, part one of Dune, did two years ago.
The second installment Dec. 3 posted a 4.1 rating.
Sci Fi president
Bonnie Hammer said the network was thrilled with the early ratings and
proclaimed the series a success irregardless of ratings for remaining episodes.
She added that Taken's performance established the network as a major
force in the original-programming arena.
"What this does is show the creative world and consumers that we're willing
to take creative risks, and it puts us on the map as a broader
general-entertainment vehicle within a genre," Hammer said.
"It will also give us a lot of clout within the creative community," she
added. "If we approach other Steve Spielbergs and say we're willing to take
risks, they're going to believe us and come."