June 23, 2005 09:00 AM

Kathy Hilton can’t match her daughter Paris in the ratings game.

The premiere of the elder Hilton’s much-trumpeted NBC reality series I Want to Be a Hilton, trailed competing shows in its timeslot Tuesday and attracted an average of only 6.8 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers.

By contrast, the Dateline NBC special with runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks that preceded it pulled in 8.7 million.

Beating Hilton were a CBS special on Movie Quotes (Rhett Butler telling Scarlett O’Hara, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” ranked No. 1), which hit 9.8 million viewers, and a FOX rerun of House (8.4 million).

The Hilton show takes 14 aspiring socialites and puts them through etiquette boot camp with Kathy as they compete for $200,000 and a posh Manhattan pad. Critics were less than kind.

As for comparisons between mother and daughter, when it premiered on FOX in late 2003, The Simple Life, starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, drew 13.1 million viewers, and jumped by another 200,000 in its second week.

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