Lifetime Reclaims Primetime Throne


After ESPN took the crown in September, Lifetime Television returned to the
top spot in primetime ratings during October.

The women's-targeted network notched a 1.8 household rating from Sept. 30
through Oct. 27, edging the total-sports network and Nickelodeon, both of which
averaged a 1.7 in primetime.

However, whereas both Lifetime and ESPN were flat from October 2001 (Oct. 1
through 28, 2001), the kids' service registered a 13 percent advance.

ESPN swept the adult demos in October, leading the basic-cable pack among
adults 18 through 34 (an average of 561,000 of those watchers), 18 through 49
(up 17 percent to 1.09 million) and 25 through 54 (ahead 7 percent to 1.07
million), according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media
Research data.

Back on the household beat, Turner Network Television (down 6 percent) was
fourth with a 1.6, ahead of the 1.5 average for Fox News Channel (off 6
percent), USA Network (ahead 7 percent) and Cartoon Network (a 12 percent

TBS Superstation, despite a 19 percent drop, finished eighth with a 1.3,
ahead of the 1.1 garnered by Cable News Network (down 39 percent) and The
Learning Channel (up 22 percent).

The news channels, despite spikes from the Washington, D.C.-area sniper
story, sustained Nielsen erosion versus October 2001, when Americans were
tracking events in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

MSNBC saw its primetime ratings decrease 55 percent to a 0.5 average, while
CNN Headline News was down 50 percent to a 0.2 average. On the business side,
CNBC was off 60 percent to a 0.2 average in October.

In total-day, Nick was in its usual first-place perch, up 15 percent to a 1.5
household rating in October.

Lifetime and Cartoon -- both flat -- were knotted in second with a 1.1
average, just ahead of Fox News, even at a 1.0. Fifth-place TNT, boosted by its
new daytime lineup of off-network dramas, grew 13 percent to a 0.9.

Among adults 18 through 49, TBS was first with an average of 523,000 (down 2
percent) of those viewers, while Lifetime led among the 25-through-54 set with
581,000 (up 6 percent) of those viewers on average over the 24-hour