Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Wire (HBO): Ratings Recap

HBO's 'The Wire' premiered June 2, 2002 to 3.7 million viewers and remained at around the 3 million figure for the first few episodes before gaining a strong 'Sex and the City' lead-in on July 21, 2002 which helped it soar into high-3 millions/low-4 millions for the rest of its inaugural season. A second season aired in 2003 with the same 'Sex' lead-in and the ratings actually saw a nice year-to-year rise: averaging 3.73 million viewers vs. 3.43 million in 2002. The show's first real test came in 2004's third season which was the first to air without a strong lead-in. That season began with just 1.83 million viewers - a far cry from the 4.48 million for the second season closer - and averaged just around 1.5 million viewers. Despite this, the show was renewed for a fourth season which aired in 2006 and saw a slight increase in viewership (to 1.6 million on-average), but this gain was erased by the time the fifth season aired in 2008. That final season saw viewership fall to a new low of 534,000 and the season as a whole averaged under 1 million viewers. Note: the only ratings figures available for the fourth season (2006) were for the premiere, finale, and season-average. Also note: averages in the seasons 3, 4, and 5 table come from official published sources and are not calculated from the available data.

The Wire Season 1 Ratings (2002)
Episode DateViewers (millions)HH rating
Jun. 2, 20023.7-
Jun. 9, 20022.7991.8
Jun. 16, 2002--
Jun. 23, 20022.91-
Jun. 30, 20022.9651.9
Jul. 7, 20022.9822.0
Jul. 21, 20024.1242.4
Jul. 28, 20023.3052.3
Aug. 4, 20023.4182.3
Aug. 11, 20024.1452.8
Aug. 18, 20023.4312.3
Sept. 1, 20023.6552.4
Sept. 8, 20023.7702.5
Average3.432.3

The Wire Season 2 Ratings (2003)
Episode DateViewers (millions)HH rating
Jun. 1, 20034.4302.8
Jun. 8, 20033.5-
Jun. 15, 20032.6411.8
Jun. 22, 20034.3322.9
Jun. 29, 20033.6182.5
Jul. 6, 20034.1092.8
Jul. 13, 2003--
Jul. 27, 20033.6432.6
Aug. 3, 20033.0402.1
Aug. 10, 20033.5062.4
Aug. 17, 20033.6992.4
Aug. 24, 20034.4833.0
Average3.732.5

The Wire Season 3 Ratings (2004)
Episode DateViewers (millions)HH rating
Sept. 19, 20041.8261.2
Sept. 26, 2004--
Oct. 3, 20041.54-
Oct. 10, 20041.4471.0
Oct. 17, 20041.3410.9
Oct. 31, 20041.4230.9
Nov. 7, 2004--
Nov. 14, 20041.4711.0
Nov. 21, 2004--
Nov. 28, 20041.6671.1
Dec. 12, 20042.0401.2
Dec. 19, 20042.04-
Average1.491.0

The Wire Season 4 Ratings (2006)
Episode DateViewers (millions)HH rating
Sept. 10, 20061.53-
Dec. 10, 20061.9-
Average1.6-

The Wire Season 5 Ratings (2008)
Episode DateViewers (millions)18-49 rating
Jan. 6, 20081.2340.6
Jan. 13, 20081.1850.6
Jan. 20, 20080.846-
Jan. 27, 20081.2820.7
Feb. 3, 20080.534-
Feb. 10, 20080.738-
Feb. 17, 20080.5700.3
Feb. 24, 2008--
Mar. 2, 20080.706-
Mar. 9, 20081.1-
Average0.9-

Source: Nielsen Media Research

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