Monk, L&O SVU Propel USA in Jan.


Bolstered by a strong performance in the final week, USA Network edged out a primetime victory during January.

USA -- which rode the strength of fresh episodes of hit original series Monk and off-network acquisition Law & Order: Special Victims Unit -- averaged a 2.1 household rating Dec. 29-Jan. 25.

That gave the general-entertainment network -- which topped the industry with a 2.4 mark Jan. 19-25 -- a 0.1-point edge over Nickelodeon and Turner Network Television in January, according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Disney Channel was fourth for the month with a 1.9 mark, while TBS Superstation and Lifetime Television were next, each with 1.7 averages.

Rounding out the top 10: Cartoon Network with a 1.4; ESPN at a 1.3; and Discovery Channel, Fox News Channel and MTV: Music Television, all with a 1.2.

Finishing just below that ratings rung in Nielsen’s January: Sci Fi Channel, The Learning Channel and The History Channel, all of which scored a 1.1.

Last week, kids’ kingpin Nick finished with a 2.2 household average versus a 1.9 for TNT and a 1.7 apiece for TBS, Disney and Lifetime. The rest of the top 10 was as follows: a 1.5 for Fox News; a 1.4 for History and Cartoon; and a 1.3 for Discovery and Sci Fi.