It’s official: Turner Network Television took the prize as the No.-1 rated cable network in primetime this year, according to Nielsen Media Research data released Tuesday.
TNT -- which has made good with its "We Know Drama" strategy -- unseated Lifetime Television as the highest-rated network. The network posted a 2.0 primetime rating in 2003 (the period spanning Dec. 30, 2002-Dec. 28, 2003), up 11% from 2002 (Dec. 31, 2001-Dec. 29, 2002), according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen data.
Lifetime, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel were in a three-way tie for second place, each with a 1.7 rating. Lifetime was down 15%, while Nick was flat and Disney was up 21%, according to Nielsen.
Also in a three-way tie, each with a 1.6 rating, were USA Network, Fox News Channel and Cartoon Network. Fox News enjoyed a whopping 33% gain, while USA was down 6% and Cartoon was flat.
Those three networks were followed in primetime by ESPN and TBS Superstation, each with a 1.5 rating. Both networks were flat.
The Learning Channel rounded out the list with a 1.1 in primetime, a 10% increase from 2002.
For total-day in 2003, Nick ruled the roost with a 1.5 rating, flat versus last year.