The continuous coverage in the wake of the terrorist attacks pushed Cable
News Network to the top of the Nielsen Media Research pack during the first week
Averaging a 1.9 for the week of Oct. 1 through 7, CNN was tied with ESPN for
the medium's lead in primetime, while the all-news network's 1.3 edged the 1.2
generated by Nickelodeon, the perennial kingpin, in the total-day measurement,
according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen data.
Fox News Channel and MSNBC also continued their ratings ascent in the period,
as the former generated a 1.7 primetime average to finish in a fifth-place tie
with Lifetime Television. MSNBC's 1.1 earned it the 12th spot.
On a 24-hour basis, FNC's 1.0 average knotted it with TBS Superstation in
fifth place, while MSNBC was in a five-way tie for seventh along with Turner
Network Television, ESPN, A&E Network and TNN: The National Network, all
with a 0.8.
CNN Headline News was one of 10 networks with 0.5 average in primetime,
earning it a piece of the 27th spot, according to the Turner
analysis. Headline's 0.4 made it one of eight channels to average a 0.4 over the
24-hour period, good for a slice of 15th.
Back in primetime, TBS Superstation and Cartoon Network came in third during
the week, each with a 1.8, while sister Turner network TNT was seventh at a 1.6.
Rounding out the top 10: TNN and Nick in eighth with a 1.4 apiece; and A&E
and USA Network tied for 10th, each with a 1.3.
Trailing CNN and Nick atop the total-day charts were Lifetime and Cartoon,
each with a 1.1 in a tie for third.
CNN's coverage Oct. 7 -- the day the United States began its military strikes
in Afghanistan -- dominated the list of top-rated shows for the week, accounting
for seven of the top 10 including a 4.4 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
That installment was tied for second overall with TNN's airing of World
Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. fare from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Oct. 1.
ESPN's Oct. 7 presentation of the National Football League game between the
San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers was basic cable's highest-rated
program of the week with a 6.2 household rating.