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'Buffy' Finale Stakes Strong Ratings for UPN
Wed, May 21, 2003 04:48 PM PDT


LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" went out as it came in -- as a hit among younger viewers, if not the general populace.

Tuesday's (May 20) series finale, in which Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the Scoobies and an army of potential slayers battle the First Evil, drew 4.9 million viewers to UPN. The episode drew the biggest audience for the show since October 2002 and finished well above "Buffy's" season average of 3.8 million viewers.

It also scored well in the teen and young-adult demographics UPN targets. The finale averaged a 2.7 rating among people ages 12-34 and adults 18-34, beating all of the big three networks in the hour. (It trailed only FOX's "American Idol" sing-off and the "Gilmore Girls" finale on The WB.)

The finale also gave a boost to the premiere of "America's Next Top Model," which improved on the time period's season average across the board.

Of course, "Buffy" was never about getting huge ratings. Based on anecdotal evidence -- Internet message boards and the like -- the finale seems to have pleased most of the show's fiercely devoted fans.


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