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The Neelys are Setting Records
Tuesday, February 05, 2008 | posted by Mike

What do get when you give a new show some primo real estate in the middle of your Saturday morning cooking lineup? By the looks of it, you get yourself a hit.
"Down Home with the Neelys" became the highest-rated series debut in the five-year history of Food Network's popular "In the Kitchen" weekend block after its Saturday, February 2 premiere (11am ET/PT). The new show, featuring Pat and Gina Neely, African American restaurateurs from Memphis, TN who create approachable Southern BBQ comfort food, was watched by nearly 2 million people.

A record number of female viewers went "Down Home with the Neelys" making it the highest-rated program among women 25-54 on ad-supported cable during its time period. The show earned a 1.1 rating and 700,000 viewers among women 25-54. It also ranked second among adults 25-54 with a .8 rating, averaging 870,000 viewers.
As I said, the overall numbers undoubtedly benefit from the fact that it was debuted in the middle of some of their most popular shows, but the stats are certainly impressive nonetheless. This is particularly true when you consider the fact that, unlike debuts of shows with existing FN personalities or, say, the winner of TNFNS, Down Home didn't come to the table with a pre-existing audience.

Time will tell if the show is able to sustain these numbers (particularly if it is moved to a different time), but it's off to a very good start.



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