Lifetime Tops in April Primetime Ratings


April wasn't the cruelest month for Lifetime Television.

The women's-skewing network led basic cable in primetime during April,
averaging a 1.9 from April 2 through 29, according to a Turner Entertainment
Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Lifetime, which saw its ratings average rise 6 percent, topped Cartoon
Network (flat) and USA Network (down 26 percent), both with a 1.7. Nickelodeon,
down 11 percent to a 1.6, was fourth, while TBS Superstation, with a 26 percent
falloff, and Turner Network Television, down 12 percent, were tied for

Rounding out the top 10: A&E Network (off 8 percent) and Discovery
Channel (down 14 percent), each at a 1.2; and TNN: The National Network (a 67
percent jump) and The History Channel (up 11 percent), each at a 1.0.

Of the 43 networks measured in the Turner analysis, 10 registered primetime
ratings gains, while 11 sustained primetime erosion when gauged against the
April 2000 period, spanning March 27 through April 30 of last year. A total of
19 other networks were flat. The remaining three -- SoapNet at a 0.9, Lifetime
Movie Network at a 0.6 and Toon Disney at 0.4 -- were not previously included in
the group.

On a total-day basis, Nickelodeon continued atop the basic-cable heap, even
though its 1.4 average was down 7 percent from April 2000. Lifetime, notching a
9 percent gain, was second with a 1.2, ahead of Cartoon, which registered a 10
percent advance to a 1.1.

TBS, despite an 18 percent drop, ranked fourth at a 0.9. TNT (even), USA
(down 11 percent) and A&E (off 11 percent) were logjammed at a 0.8. That
trio was followed by Discovery (a 14 percent decrease) and History (even), both
at a 0.5. MTV: Music Television, ESPN, The Learning Channel, TNN and FX were all
tied for the 10th position at a 0.5 average.

Keying TNN's jump in primetime was its World Wrestling Federation
Entertainment Inc. fare. The grappling program pinned the top eight programming
periods during April, led by the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. span April 2, which scored a
5.8 despite going up against the NCAA men's championship basketball