The highly anticipated U.S. premiere of well-known Japanese anime series Naruto (Saturday, 9 p.m.) carved double-digit ratings and delivery gains among Cartoon Network's targeted kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14 demos, according to Nielsen Media Research. The compelling series that centers around Uzumaki Naruto, a rebellious ninja-in-training, rightfully took its place as a new anchor for Cartoon Network's TOONAMI, a signature action-adventure franchise that plays Saturday nights from 7-11 p.m. (ET/PT). Highlights of Naruto's performance vs. the same time period over the last four weeks on Cartoon Network include the following:
Naruto (Saturdays, 9 p.m.)
- Tweens 9-14 delivery (572,000) increased by 20% and ratings (2.3) by 21%.
- Kids 6-11 delivery (575,000) expanded by 15% and ratings (2.4) by 14%.
- Tween boys 9-14 delivery (443,000) and ratings (3.5) both surged by 25%.
- Boys 6-11 delivery (432,000) jumped by 16% and ratings (3.5) by 17%.
- The Saturday night replay of Naruto (10 p.m.) was the highest-rated program of the week on Cartoon Network with tweens 9-14 (2.8/700,000) and tween boys 9-14 (4.7/594,000).
Naruto is an adaptation of the popular manga series Naruto created by Masahi Kishimoto. Cartoon Network acquired 52 episodes of the anime series about an orphan 12-year-old who trains to become a respected master ninja, unaware that his body houses the evil spirit of the Nine Tailed Fox which had ravaged his home town and now offers special powers that must be controlled. The series already has a huge fan base in the U.S. through DVD sales and bootleg tapes, having first aired in Japan and Asia in 2002. Its debut on Cartoon Network will mark the first time the series has been shown in English.
About Toonami:The best programming block on cable television dedicated to action and adventure programming, including feature films and television series,' Toonami has been a staple of the Cartoon Network for several years now, and only continues to grow and increase in popularity with its hot newly acquired titles, and as soon as later within the 2005-year, will embark on an all-new journey with original television programming, exclusive to Toonami. One of the top-rated programming blocks, formerly of weekdays, and now of weekends (Saturdays), Toonami features Japanese animation, North American produced, and European produced action cartoons that display some of the best animation and some of the best stories the young adult demographic has ever seen.