The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 premiered this past Wednesday (March 30, 2011), featuring heavyweight coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos, with an average of 1.5 million viewers tuning in to Spike TV.
The cable television network reported the ratings earlier today, which most likely fell way below expectations, considering that Lesnar has historically been a box office behemoth.
By comparison, TUF 12 (with coaches Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck) pulled in 1.6 million viewers. The high watermark is TUF 10, which featured YouTube street-brawling sensation Kimbo Slice and reeled in a whopping 4.1 million curious cats.
The good news is that the debut episode still managed to finish first in viewership for males aged 18 to 34 and 18 to 49 during the 9 to 10 p.m. ET time slot.
One episode down, nine to go.
In the debut episode, the two coaches worked out the 14 TUF contestants -- all of whom are vying for one "six-figure contract" -- and selected their teams. Unlike seasons past, there weren't any qualifying fights to gain entry into the TUF house.
TUF 13 will serve as the lead up to the number one heavyweight contender eliminator match between Lesnar and dos Santos, which is set for UFC 131 on June 11, 2011, in Vancouver.
For a full recap of TUF 13's debut episode click here.