Bolstered by its Sunday-night lineup of original dramas, as well as a number
of telepics, Lifetime Television paced basic cable during primetime in the first
The women's-oriented network notched a 2.0 primetime average during the
period from Jan. 1 through April 1, according to Nielsen Media Research, an 18
percent advance from the 1.7 it averaged in first-quarter 2000.
Lifetime's performance -- led by series The Division, Strong
Medicine and Any Day Now and movies like The Familiar Stranger
and What Makes a Family -- marked the first time in its 17-year history
that the network held the top primetime-ratings spot in basic cable.
The distaff-skewing channel led basic cable in primetime average during
January and March with 2.1 and 2.0 household ratings, respectively.
Missing the youthful male audience attracted by the World Wrestling
Federation faithful, USA Network saw its household ratings fall 21 percent in
the first quarter, but it still finished in a tie for second with TBS
Superstation with a 1.9 primetime average, according to a Turner Entertainment
Research analysis of Nielsen data.
TBS posted a 6 percent ratings rise in the quarter versus the year-earlier
period, which spanned Dec. 27, 1999, through March 26, 2000.
Cartoon Network was fourth, growing 6 percent to a 1.6 average in primetime,
one slot ahead of sister channel Turner Network Television, which was flat, and
Nickelodeon, which was down 11 percent.
Rounding out basic cable's top 10: A&E Network, off 7 percent to a 1.4;
Discovery Channel, flat at a 1.3; TNN: The National Network, ahead 57 percent to
a 1.1; and The Learning Channel, even at a 1.0 average.
TNN's surge, pushing the channel to its most successful quarter ever, was
fueled in large part by cable's top-rated WWF Raw Is