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Paris Hilton's new show: No. 2
'The Simple Life' is second in ratings race as reality show with infamous Hilton heir debuts.
December 3, 2003: 4:16 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Paris Hilton's Internet infamy was enough to help draw viewers to Fox Tuesday night, but not enough to give her new reality show a win in its time slot.

Paris Hilton in a scene from the debut episode of  
Paris Hilton in a scene from the debut episode of "The Simple Life."

Hilton, an heir of the family that founded and still runs the Hilton Hotels Corp. (HLT: Research, Estimates), has gained a great deal of attention in recent weeks as her family filed lawsuits to halt Internet distribution of a tape of her having sex with a former boyfriend.

She appeared Tuesday as one of two stars in the debut of "The Simple Life." In the show, Hilton and Nicole Richie, daughter of musician Lionel Richie, move in with a family in rural Arkansas for a month while cameras follow their attempt to adjust to their new lifestyle.

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CNN's Jeanne Moos discovers some people think Paris Hilton is a hotel, despite her reality TV show and her infamous sex tape.

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Fox (FOX: Research, Estimates), a unit of Fox Entertainment Group, said a preliminary reading of Tuesday's viewership showed the show scored a strong 8.1 rating, meaning 8.1 percent of U.S. homes tuned in to the half-hour show. About 13 million people watched it, or about 12 percent of those watching television at that time.

But that put it No. 2 in its time slot behind the 9.3 rating, and nearly 14 million viewers, who stayed with the second half-hour of the CBS drama "JAG," which won the time slot.

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"The Simple Life" did grab the most younger viewers, with 22 percent of those ages 12 to 17 who were watching television tuning in. It also won the 18- to 34-year-old and 18- to 49-year-old age groups, whose viewing habits are followed closely by advertisers.

Fox said "The Simple Life" also topped the premiers of two other highly rated reality shows this season -- ABC's "The Bachelor" and NBC's "Average Joe."  Top of page

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