Nets Bunched Up Behind Lifetime


Lifetime Television led the way among households in a very tight primetime
race last week, which saw four networks tie for second.

The women's-targeted channel averaged a 2.0 household rating Aug. 12 through
18 to finish 0.2 points ahead of ESPN, USA Network, Nickelodeon and Turner
Network Television.

Cartoon Network was next, averaging a 1.7, according to a Turner
Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Rounding out the top 10 in primetime: TBS Superstation with a 1.4; A&E
Network with a 1.2; and TNN: The National Network, ABC Family, Discovery
Channel, Sci Fi Channel and Fox News Channel, each with a 1.0.

Gauged on a total-day basis, Nickelodeon was first with a 1.6, well ahead of
Cartoon (1.3), Lifetime (1.2), TNT (1.1) USA and TBS (both with a 0.9).

USA was tops among two of the three adult-demographic groups. The general-
entertainment network topped the 18-through-34 list with 577,000 of those
viewers, besting ESPN (509,000), TNT (439,000), Lifetime (362,000) and TNN

The Vivendi Universal Entertainment holding also set the pace with 1.11
million 18-through-49 watchers on average last week. As was the case with the
younger-adult crowd, ESPN, TNT, Lifetime and TNN placed second through fifth,
with 1.04 million, 1.03 million, 892,000 and 680,000 of those viewers,

TNT was first among adults 25 through 54, grabbing 1.13 million of those
viewers. ESPN (1.07 million), USA (1.06 million), Lifetime (1 million) and Sci
Fi (718,000) completed the top five.

TNT's coverage of the Pepsi 400 National Association for Stock Car Auto
Racing Winston Cup event was basic cable's highest-rated show of the week,
earning a 5.3 household rating from 2 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. Aug. 16. The race also
ranked first among adults 18 through 49 and 25 through 54 and fifth among adults
18 through 34.

The half-hour Discover Card Pre-Race Show preceding the Pepsi 400 was
ninth among households for the week with a 3.3 household rating.

E! Entertainment Television's The Anna Nicole Show averaged a 2.4
household rating, down from a 3.0 the prior week. The show also slipped among

According to the Turner analysis, the premiere of the third installment of
the reality show scored with 1.25 million viewers 18 through 34, versus 1.72
million for the second week. Among adults 18 through 49, the count dropped to
1.84 million Sunday from 2.59 million.

Nevertheless, E! officials said they were pleased with the show, noting that
it averaged a 2.68 among adults 18 through 34 and a 1.92 among adults 18 through
49, good for fifth and eighth place among those respective groups.

Anna's perky performance has also helped to lift the network's primetime
average to a 0.7 the past three weeks -- a 53 percent jump from the
corresponding span in 2001 -- according to E! officials.