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Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Alias on ABC.
Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
(Eastern & Pacific Time)
|Estreia de Temporada||Fim de Temporada||Ano||Ranking|| Audiência|
|1||Sunday 9:00 PM (September 30]], 2001 - May 12, 2002)||30 de Setembro , 2001||12 de Maio , 2002||2001-2002||#58||9.7|
|2||Sunday 9:00 PM (September 29, 2002 - May 4, 2003)||29 de Setembro, 2002||4 de Maio 4, 2003||2002-2003||#78||9.0|
|3||Sunday 9:00 PM (September 28, 2003 - May 23, 2004)||September 28, 2003||May 23, 2004||2003-2004||#78||8.2|
|4||Wednesday 9:00 PM (January 5, 2005 - May 25, 2005)||January 5, 2005||May 25, 2005||2004 - 2005||#40||10.3|
|5|| Thursday 8:00 PM (September 29, 2005 - November 17, 2005)|
Wednesday 10:00 PM (December 7, 2005 - December 14, 2005)
Wednesday 8:00 PM (April 19, 2006 - May 17, 2006)
Monday 9:00 PM (May 22, 2006)
|September 29, 2005||May 22, 2006||2005-2006||#93||7.2|
Although Alias was never considered a major "hit", its series run began during a time when the ABC television network was in decline, after Who Wants to Be a Millionaire saw its ratings plummet. In fact, Alias was one of the first shows to be placed in one of the old Who Wants to Be a Millionaire timeslots, which were Sunday nights at 9 p.m. (Eastern & Pacific time) in late 2001. Unlike many of the programs on ABC from 2001-2003, Alias was a series that garnered critical buzz, a cult following, and decent viewing numbers in the advertiser-friendly age 18-49 demographic. This led to ABC keeping the series on its schedule for 5 years.
Despite earning critical acclaim from USA Today for the January 26, 2003 episode entitled "Phase One" and attracting the largest audience of the series with 17.4 million viewers, this episode retained just 19 percent of the Super Bowl XXXVII audience and has the dubious distinction of earning the lowest overall ratings for a program airing after a Super Bowl since at least 1987 and the lowest rating ever (8.3 rating) in the age 18-49 demographic for a post-Super Bowl program. Also, since the episode started airing at 11 p.m. on the East Coast, it was not eligible for the week's list of top primetime shows ranked by Nielsen Media Research and thus, the episode's viewership numbers were not factored in the series' overall 2002-2003 season average.
Its ratings peak was reached in its fourth season, when ABC moved the program to Wednesdays 9 p.m. (Eastern & Pacific time), the time slot following another (yet more successful) J. J. Abrams' drama, Lost, while airing the season's episodes in (almost) consecutive weeks beginning with the January 5, 2005 2-hour season premiere (watched by 15.8 million viewers; the second most-watched episode in the series) and ending in May 2005. However, the fourth season was the only season in which this near-consecutive-week schedule was used and the increase in audience numbers was minimal since it faced hefty timeslot competition from the results show of the fourth season of Fox's mega-hit American Idol.
Coming off its most-watched season, Alias was moved to Thursdays 8 p.m. (Eastern & Pacific time) in the fall of 2005 by ABC in an effort to invigorate the network's lackluster Thursday night lineup. However, the move proved unsuccessful for the series, receiving the lowest viewership in the show's history. Alias became another scripted show in the history of ABC to not survive more than a year in this timeslot since Mork & Mindy was cancelled in 1982. (other ABC shows experiencing this Thursday 8 p.m. fate: Joanie Loves Chachi, The Fall Guy, Sledge Hammer!, Knightwatch, Mission: Impossible, Father Dowling Mysteries, Delta, My So-Called Life, Vengeance Unlimited, Threat Matrix)ABC gave the show a 4-month hiatus (to allow Jennifer Garner to give birth) and when it was brought back in April 2006, its new timeslot was Wednesdays at 8 p.m. However, the viewer numbers remained dismal, culminating in a 2-hour series finale airing on Monday, May 22, 2006 (against the season finales of the hit dramas, Fox's 24 and CBS' CSI: Miami) which attracted 6.68 million viewers. In comparison, the first season averaged 9.7 million viewers.
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