'Heroes' hits big for Sci Fi U.K.


LONDON -- NBC drama "Heroes" netted cable channel Sci Fi U.K. its highest ratings in 12 years, attracting 623,000 viewers in its 10 p.m. debut Monday.

Billed as "Lost" meets the "X-Men" and supported with a heavy marketing campaign both on-screen and off, the show peaked with a 4.3% audience share.

Sci Fi picked up the show at last year's L.A. Screenings, and it remains one of the few debut shows from last year to have clicked with audiences.

While British buyers paid top prices to secure such shows as "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," "Entourage" and "Six Degrees," to date the shows that have thrived are limited to "Ugly Betty" on Channel 4 and now "Heroes."

"This result is a spectacular way to start the series' run," said Sci Fi U.K. managing director Nick Betts. "It more than validates the belief we had in the show the moment we saw it at last year's L.A. Screenings and reflects the hard work everyone at Sci FI has put into launching it."