Ashton Kutcher is good for geeks and vice versa.
Beauty and the Geek, the made-by-Kutcher reality series, has been renewed for a second season, the WB announced Tuesday.
A budding summer hit, Geek (65th place, 4.5 million viewers) was the network's most watched show for the TV week ended Sunday. The series dominated its 8-9 p.m. Wednesday time slot among 18-to-34-year-olds, who left the likes of CBS' 60 Minutes II (28th place, 6.9 million) to their elders.
Geek premiered June 1 to good reviews. "At last," Ray Richmond wrote in the Hollywood Reporter, "a reality show that smacks of something remotely clever and doesn't leave you feeling in need of a long, hot shower at the end."
A departure from the usual dating and makeover shows its title sounds as if it could have been applied to, Beauty and the Geek pairs seven "academically challenged" women with seven "socially challenged" men. The mismatched team that learns the most from each other is rewarded with insight into how the other half lives--and $250,000.
Geek's first season wraps in just three more episodes. Its second season, to arrive sometime during the 2005-06 TV year, will be expanded to eight episodes.
Kutcher, himself a onetime biochemical engineering major, is an executive producer of Geek. It is his second behind-the-camera TV hit after MTV's Punk'd.
Elsewhere:The jive did in boxer Evander Holyfield, but didn't put a dent in ABC's indestructible Dancing with the Stars (first place, 15.7 million).
Super Size Me's Morgan Spurlock helped supersize FX's ratings with the premiere of his new documentary series, 30 Days (1.7 million).
The struggling box office can only hope Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds has longer legs than his TNT Western, Into the West (4.8 million), off 25 percent from its premiere.
The fading Hit Me Baby One More Time (37th place, 6 million) "led" NBC's week, which says a lot about NBC's week.
Fox's Hell Kitchen (22nd place, 7.5 million) is starting to show some fire.
CBS' cooling Fire Me, Please (27th place, 6.9 million) might just get its titular wish.
CBS' half-hour 48 Hours special on the Michael Jackson verdicts (48th place, 5.5 million) proved to be as much an audience favorite as the star defendant.
Designer Tommy Hilfiger just isn't making The Cut (51st place, 5.3 million) with his CBS reality series.
ABC is still comparing its NBA Finals ratings to the comparison-friendly 2003 series (aka, the least-watched NBA Finals on record), which means ratings are still down from last year. But all is not lost. Sunday's overtime win for the San Antonio Spurs over the Detroit Pistons put up the series' best numbers yet--13.1 million viewers (second place).
Overall, CBS was tops among total viewers, averaging 7.8 million; ABC was tops among 18-to-49-year-olds.
ABC ran second in viewers (6.9 million), followed by NBC (6.1 million) and Fox (4.9 million). The UPN topped the WB, 2.6 million to 2.3 million.
Here's a look of the 10 most watched prime-time shows for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research:
1. Dancing with the Stars, ABC, 15.7 million viewers
2. NBA Finals Game 5 (Detroit v. San Antonio), ABC, 13.1 million viewers
3. CSI, CBS, 12.4 million viewers
4. CSI: Miami, CBS, 11.3 million viewers
5. NBA Finals Game 4 (Detroit v. San Antonio), ABC, 10.92 million viewers
6. Without a Trace, CBS, 10.91 million viewers
7. NBA Finals Game 3 (Detroit v. San Antonio), ABC, 10.63 million viewers
8. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 10.6 million viewers
9. CBS Sunday Movie: Twelve Mile Road, CBS, 9.9 million viewers
10. Law & Order, NBC, 9.6 million viewers