It was a quarter of a lifetime, so to speak.
Lifetime Television's winning ways in primetime continued throughout the
first quarter as the women's-targeted channel donned the household-ratings
diadem, beating its nearest competitors by half a ratings point.
Lifetime, which ranked first for all 13 weeks of the period, averaged a 2.2
household rating from Dec. 31, 2001, through March 31 -- a 10 percent gain from
a 2.0 in the first quarter of 2001, spanning Jan. 1 through April 1, 2001.
Lifetime, which notched the highest quarterly ratings mark in its history,
claimed that its consecutive-winning-week streak marked the first time a network
had accomplished that feat since USA pinned all 13 weeks during the first
quarter of 2000.
The network also said its 0.5-point margin is the greatest since USA scored
such an advantage during the aforementioned span.
Turner Network Television, Nickelodeon (up 6 percent apiece) and USA Network
(down 11 percent) all averaged a 1.7 during the first quarter of 2002, according
to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.
TBS Superstation (a 16 percent decrease) and Cartoon Network (down 6 percent)
were next, averaging a 1.6 in primetime.
Gauged on a total-day basis, Nickelodeon was in its usual first-place perch,
scoring a 1.5 average, up 7 percent from first-quarter 2001, according to the
Lifetime (an 8 percent increase) ranked second with a 1.3 average, while
Cartoon (even) was third with a 1.1, ahead of TBS (minus 17 percent) at a
A look at adult demos in primetime showed that USA was first among the
18-through-49 set in the first quarter, scoring a 10 percent advance by
averaging 1.04 million of those viewers.
That led TBS (off 12 percent) and TNT (2 percent), which counted 1.04 million
and 1 million of those watchers, respectively, on average in the quarter.
Lifetime, grabbing an 19 percent increase, took the title among adults 25
through 54, averaging 1.09 million of those viewers. TNT was second with nearly
1.07 million, a 2 percent increase from first-quarter 2001, while USA's total
edged up 1 percent to 1.06 million.
Rounding out the top 10 basic-cable networks in primetime: Fox News Channel
and Discovery Channel, which recorded a 33 percent increase and an 8 percent
decline, respectively, in registering a 1.2 each; A&E Network, off 21
percent to a 1.1; and ESPN (up 11 percent), The Learning Channel (flat) and TNN:
The National Network (down 9 percent), all at a 1.0.
Elsewhere in the news segment, Cable News Network averaged a 0.9, a 29
percent increase from first-quarter 2001. MSNBC was even for the period with a
0.4 primetime average, as was CNN Headline News at a 0.2. CNBC, on the other
hand, was off 33 percent to a 0.3.
Back on the 24-hour beat, USA (up 13 percent) and TNT (even) were tied at a
0.9, besting the 0.8 recorded by A&E (down 11 percent). Fox News (a 75
percent jump) with a 0.7 average, edged out rival CNN (a 50 percent
improvement), which recorded a 0.6 on a 24-hour basis.
TLC (20 percent), FX (flat) and Discovery (off 14 percent) were tied for
10th in total-day with a 0.6 average, according to the Turner