Nets Battle to Weekly Ratings Draw

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No one cable network broke through the pack last week as five networks tied for the top primetime ratings spot.

Nickelodeon, TBS Superstation, ESPN, USA Network and Turner Network Television were all knotted with 1.9 household ratings for the week of Dec. 8-14, according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

There was no such logjam on the total-day side, as Nickelodeon breezed to a first-place finish with a 1.7 mark, easily besting TNT’s and Disney Channel’s 1.2 second-place tie.

Sci Fi Channel, on the strength of its Battlestar Galactica miniseries, took top primetime honors among viewers 25-54 (1.27 million). TBS Superstation was tops among adults 18-49 (1.25 million) in primetime, as well as among adults 18-34 in both primetime (604,000) and total day (334,000). TBS sister station TNT took the top slots on a 24-hour basis for adults 18-34 (690,000) and 25-54 (710,000).

Fox News Channel’s and Cable News Network’s Dec. 14 coverage of the capture of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein occupied seven of the top-10 highest-rated program slots for the week. ESPN’s Dec. 14 New York Giants-New Orleans Saints National Football League game finished first with a 5.5 rating.

On an individual network-ratings note, E! Entertainment Television, on the strength of its 101 Biggest Celebrity Oops special, set an all-time weekly primetime-ratings record with a 0.4 mark, network officials said.

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