Katrina Coverage Propels News Nets

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Ongoing coverage of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath kept Fox News Channel and Cable News Network in ad-supported cable’s top five in primetime and total programming day last week.

Fox News ranked second with a 2.4 household mark in primetime and held the same place with the longer measure, averaging a 1.6, Sept. 5-11, according to a Disney ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

For its part, CNN finished fifth in primetime with a 1.8, and it secured a slice of fourth with a 1.2 average in total programming day.

Turner Network Television, which has been setting the primetime pace for most of the year, returned to the top spot with a 2.6 average, while Disney Channel was third with a 2.2. ESPN, bolstered by the return of pro and college football, was fourth with a 2.1.

Rounding out primetime’s top 10: USA Network and Spike TV, both with 1.7 averages; Nick at Nite at a 1.6; Lifetime Television with a 1.5; and Cartoon Network and regional service Turner South, each with a 1.4 for the period.

As for the rest of the total-programming-day positions, Nickelodeon returned to its familiar top spot with a 1.7, and sister service and channel-sharer Nick at Nite registered a 1.4, as it trailed Fox News. Disney and TNT were knotted with CNN’s 1.2 mark.

ESPN’s coverage of the National Football League game between the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens was the highest-rated show of the week, tackling a 9.1 household mark Sept. 11.

The season-finale of TNT’s The Closer (Sept. 5) and Discovery Channel’s The Flight That Fought Back (Sept. 11) -- the special about the passengers and crew of the United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed during the terrorist attacks fours years earlier -- were tied for second, each with a 5.1

Fox News captured nine of the top 20 and 17 of the top 40 shows overall, led by a pair of installments of The O’Reilly Factor, each of which notched a 3.7, good for a piece of eighth, according to the Disney analysis.

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