Although the news channels continued to attract significant viewership,
Lifetime Television returned to the top rung of basic cable's Nielsen primetime
ladder last week.
The women's targeted network averaged a 2.0 during the period from Oct. 15
through 21, besting the 1.7 posted by Cable News Network and Cartoon Network,
according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research
The performance marked the first time CNN had not topped the weekly ratings
since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Fox News Channel and Turner Network Television finished in a tie for third
with a 1.6, while MSNBC was tied for 13th with a 1.0 average in
During the week of Oct. 8 through 14, CNN, FNC and MSNBC averaged a 2.0, 1.7
and 1.4, respectively, in primetime.
Rounding out the top 10 in primetime during the third week of October:
Nickelodeon at a 1.5; TBS Superstation and USA Network at a 1.4; ESPN at a 1.3;
and Discovery Channel and TV Land -- the latter of which was fueled by its I
LoveLucy 50th-anniversary marathon -- with a 1.2
On a total-day basis, Nickelodeon regained its perennial leadership perch
with a 1.3, while CNN, which had ascended in recent weeks, wound up tied with
Lifetime and Cartoon for second at a 1.2. FNC was fifth at a 1.0, while MSNBC
was tied for seventh at a 0.8
For its part, CNN Headline News scored a 0.4 in both primetime and total-day,
good for a tie for 38th and 16th, respectively.
According to the Turner analysis, TNN: The National Network's presentation of
World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. fare Oct. 15 pinned the two
highest-rated shows of the week with a 6.4 from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. and a 5.6
during the earlier hour.
VH1's presentation of the Concert for New York City, the star-studded
benefit show from Cablevision Systems Corp.'s Madison Square Garden Oct. 20, was
third, averaging a 3.7 for nearly six hours beginning at 7 p.m. that
ESPN's coverage of the Thursday-night National Football League game between
the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills tackled a 3.4 for fourth place.
New episodes of Cartoon's anime series, Dragon Ball Z, captured four
of the remaining top 10 positions, led by a 3.1 and a 3.0 on Oct. 16 and 18,
Lifetime's Sunday-night hit, Strong Medicine, was tied for seventh
with two other Dragon Ball Z installments and Nickelodeon favorite
SpongeBob SquarePants at a 2.9.