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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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‘Prison Break’ debut gets high rating

From wire reports

Fox started the 2005-06 TV season with a pretty good-sized bang Monday, winning strong debut numbers for its new drama “Prison Break.”

The series, which benefited from generally positive reviews and a huge publicity campaign by the network, opened to about 10.5 million viewers Monday. It predictably carried the night among male viewers, but it also did surprisingly well among women, leading the night among women aged 18-34 and 18-49.

Ratings for “Prison Break” likely will drop next week, when it airs on the Labor Day holiday. Fox is planning to repeat the episode the following night.

On cable, the premiere of HBO’s “Rome” didn’t exactly draw empire-sized ratings Sunday, but it acquitted itself fairly well compared to other recent offerings by the network.

But MTV’s Video Music Awards suffered a fairly steep drop-off from last year despite being the most-watched cable show of the week.

“Rome” debuted to an audience of about 3.8 million people – hardly “Sopranos”-sized numbers but a solid start for HBO, which has seen audiences for its original series dip some in recent months.’

Its Sunday night competition, the Video Music Awards, brought in just over 8 million viewers. That makes it the most-watched cable program of the summer (excluding sports), but it was down more than 2 million viewers compared to last year’s VMAs.

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