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TUF9 ratings look good … so far

Its taken the UFC 5 seasons of the Ultimate Fighter to do it, but they’ve finally seemed to recover from the ratings poison served up from The Comeback season of the show:

Spike TV today announced that the season premiere drew 1.8 million viewers, and among the coveted males 18-49 demographic, scored its highest ratings since the season-four debut in 2006.

Among all viewers, the show drew its highest ratings since the season-five debut in 2007.

Additionally, among males 18-34 and 18-49, it was also the most-watched program in its timeslot (10:15-11:15 p.m.) among all cable programs, including an NBA game that aired on ESPN.

It’s not much of a surprise that episode 1 and 2 of the show always do well … it’s hard to go wrong with 16 fights stuffed into two hours. But there’s a lot of ways this year’s TUF could go wrong ratings wise. How will people react when the Brits get to the TUF house and start blabbing about tea time and Kenneth Branagh in incomprehensible accents? These dudes aren’t going to sound like the people from the BBC … expect some brutal, brutal Terry Etim level talk. How are viewers going to react to that?

Based on the standard drop that happens every year after the ‘house format’ is established, I get the feeling that a lot of the higher-intelligence people stop watching, leaving nothing but dopes and dildos who are just waiting for Manswers to come on. How are they going to like reading subtitles and watching British guys pound on Americans? Is it going to be enough for them to dig the remote out of the couch and change the channel?