November 18, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST


TV Show
Current Status
In Season
Golden Brooks, Reggie Hayes, Jill Marie Jones, Tracee Ellis Ross, Persia White, Tracee Ross
Kelsey Grammer

There’s something weird happening on UPN’s Girlfriends. Although there have been no murders or voted-off-the-island cliff-hangers, young-adult ratings for the show are up by 19 percent, after sinking 21 percent last season — in fact, ratings for all of UPN’s Monday-night comedies have seesawed similarly. Earlier this year, UPN investigated and came up with its own explanation: The viewers were there all along. The network says Nielsen undercounted black women, a large segment of UPN’s audience. But Nielsen sticks by its numbers: ”UPN is [assuming] those homes would be watching UPN,” says rep Jack Loftus. ”You don’t know what they’d be watching — they could have gone out to dinner.” But presto — viewers have returned. ”Beginning [late] last season, we saw that [the sample of black women] had now come in balance with population estimates,” says UPN and CBS’ exec VP of research, David Poltrack. Now, UPN, how about tackling that Sex, Love & Secrets debacle?

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