News Nets Slip Back to Pack


With the war in Iraq largely in the rear-view mirror, entertainment
programming is again stabilizing atop the basic-cable ratings.

For the second straight week, Turner Network Television ranked first in
primetime, averaging a 2.2 household rating.

That performance put it ahead of Fox News Channel, which finished second with
a 1.9 average from April 28 through May 4, according to an ABC Cable Networks
Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Other all-news networks Cable News Network (tied for 13th with a
0.9) and MSNBC (a 0.4) returned to the pack after rising in recent weeks on the
strength of their coverage of and the nation's interest in the Iraqi war.

Kids' networks Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network were tied for third with a 1.7
average, ahead of Lifetime Television's 1.6. Rounding out the top 10: USA
Network with a 1.5; Disney Channel with a 1.4; FX, which benefited from a
National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing event to close with a 1.3; TBS
Superstation at a 1.2; and A&E Network with a 1.1 average.

On a total-day basis, Nick was in its usual first-place perch with a 1.5
household average, besting TNT (1.2) and Fox News, Cartoon and Lifetime, all
with 1.1 averages. Disney was next with a 1.0 average over the 24-hour

TNT also dominated the key adult-demo races in primetime, taking first place
among adults 18 through 34 (711,000 of those viewers), 18 through 49 (1.37
million) and 25 through 54 (1.35 million), according to a Turner Entertainment
Research analysis of Nielsen data.

MTV: Music Television (566,000) was second among the younger adult set, while
FX placed second with the other groups.

President Bush's May 1 address to the nation garnered a 4.3 household on Fox
News, making it the highest-rated show of the week.

The New TNN's coverage of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. fare April 28
and FX's Winston Cup action May 3 were tied for second, each with a 4.1,
according to the ABC Cable review.

Fox News' analysis of Bush's address and TNT's National Basketball
Association playoffs coverage of the Los Angeles Lakers/Minnesota Timberwolves
game April 29 were next, both with 4.0 averages.