TNT Takes '05 Ratings

12/28/2005 9:12 AM Eastern

For the third time in a row, Turner Network Television has won the primetime-ratings crown for the year, according to Nielsen Media Research data released Wednesday.

TNT, in part powered by original programming such as The Closer and Into the West, ended 2005 in the No. 1 spot with a 2.2 household rating, up 5% from last year, according to a Disney ABC Cable Networks analysis of Nielsen data.

In fact, TNT delivered more households and viewers 2-plus in primetime than any other cable network in history in 2005. And for the fourth consecutive year, TNT was the No. 1 primetime network in terms of adults 18-to-49 and 25-to-54.

But this year, USA Network — getting a big boost from professional wrestling — inched up close behind TNT. USA was in the No. 2 spot in primetime with a 2.0, a 5% increase from last year, according to Nielsen.

Disney Channel capped a strong year right behind USA, with a 1.9 rating, up 12%. Nick at Nite followed, with a 1.7, seeing a 6% gain.

Then Lifetime Television, ESPN and Fox News Channel all tied for fifth place with a 1.6 primetime rating. Lifetime and ESPN were both flat, while Fox News was up 7%.

Cartoon Network posted a 1.5 primetime rating for the year, the same as last year, while Spike TV garnered a 1.3, up 30% from a year ago.

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