USA Tackles Weekly Ratings Crown From ESPN1/25/2011 5:36 PM Eastern
USA Network won its first weekly ratings race of 2011, stopping ESPN's two-week winning streak as it topped all basic cable networks for the period of Jan. 17 to Jan. 23.
The network rode strong debuts from new series Fairly Legal and returning veteran series Royal Pains to finish with an average of 3.1 million viewers, besting Disney Channel's 2.3 million watchers for the week, according to a Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data.
TNT finished in third with 2.1 million viewers, while MTV (2 million viewers) and History (1.8 million viewers) rounded out the top five most watched networks for the week.
MTV was the top choice among young viewers who flocked to TV sets to watch Snooki, The Situation and the cast of Jersey Shore in big numbers. MTV drew 1.3 million adults 18-49 viewers and 1 million adults 18-34 watchers to easily top all basic networks in those key advertiser demos for the week.
Two Jersey Shore episodes led all basic cable network shows for the week, including a series record 8.8 million for the show's Jan. 20 episode, according to Nielsen. BETs scripted series The Game finished with third biggest audience for the week, drawing nearly 6 million viewers.
Top 10 Most Watched Shows For The Week*:
Date Show Network Viewers
1/20/11 Jersey Shore MTV 8.8 million
1/17/11 Jersey Shore MTV 7.6 million
1/18/11 The Game BET 5.9 million
1/17/11 Pawn Stars History 6.0 million
1/17/11 Pawn Stars History 5.9 million
1/17/11 American Pickers History 5.7 million
1/17/11 WWE Entertainment USA 5.2 million
1/17/11 Spongebob Squarepants Disney 4.8 million
1/20/11 WWE Entertainment USA 4.7 million
1/20/11 Jersey Shore After Show MTV 4.7 million
* Week of Jan. 17 to Jan. 23
Source: Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data