CNN, FNC Continue Ratings Run

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CNN and Fox News Channel, with events continuing to unfold in the aftermath
of the terrorist tragedies, remained atop basic cable's primetime ratings last
week.

However, viewing declined from the days immediately following the Sept. 11
disaster.

CNN won the period, averaging a 2.8 from Sept. 17 through Sept. 23, while FNC placed second with a 2.1, according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Those numbers compare with the respective 3.6 and 2.5 averages the networks garnered in primetime during the week of Sept. 10 through Sept. 16.

Meanwhile, MSNBC, tied for third with Lifetime Television two weeks ago with a 2.0 primetime rating, fell to 10th with a 1.4 average last week.

Knotted for third in total-day measurement two weeks back with perennial 24-hour champion Nickelodeon, MSNBC was tied for fifth with Lifetime last week with a 1.1.

CNN led the way with this measurement with a 1.8, down from a 2.7 the prior week. FNC was tied with Nick for second with a 1.3, off from its 1.7 during the preceding period.

The other news network also saw their ratings recede from Sept. 17 through Sept. 23. According to Nielsen, CNN Headline News registered a 0.7 in primetime and a 0.5 in total-day, good for ties for 17th and 13th, respectively.

A week earlier, CNN Headline News was knotted for 10th in primetime with a 1.0, and in a tie for eighth in total-day with a 0.7 average.

For its part, CNBC last week finished in a group of networks tied for 24th in primetime with a 0.6
average and 0.4 in total-day.

The former was down from a 0.7 in primetime (good for a slice of 17th ), while CNBC matched its 24-hour rating from the prior week (a piece of 12th place two weeks
ago).

The various networks' return to more entertainment and regularly scheduled fare was reflected in the Turner listing of the industry's top-rated shows.

Whereas two weeks ago CNN claimed 52 of the 55 highest-rated shows,
entertainment and sports fare accounted for 23 of the leading 56 spots from
Sept. 17 through Sept. 23.

In particular, such children's programming as Cartoon's Dragon Ball Z (nine spots) and Nick's SpongeBob SquarePants, Rugrats and Hey Arnold series (eight entries) were well represented.

Still, President Bush's address to Congress on Sept. 20 and attendant programming dominated the top 10. CNN's coverage of the 37-minute speech, beginning at 9:04 p.m., was the highest-rated show with a 7.2, followed by subsequent six-minute segments on the channel, which generated a 7.1 and a 6.5.

FNC's presentation of the president's address to the chamber was tied for
eighth with a 4.1.

Rounding out basic cable's top 10 in primetime: ESPN, USA Network and Cartoon Network tied for third, all with a 1.8; TBS and TNT knotted in sixth with a 1.7; Lifetime, sixth with a 1.6; and Nick, ninth at a 1.5.

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