Boosted by a fresh episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Nickelodeon edged USA Network for top primetime household honors in basic cable last week.
Nick averaged a 2.2 household mark March 1-7, just ahead of the 2.1 recorded by USA, which benefited from the season finale of quirky detective series Monk.
According to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data, Turner Network Television finished third for the session with a 1.9, while sister service TBS Superstation was fourth at a 1.8.
There was a three-way tie for the fifth spot at a 1.4 among Lifetime Television, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network.
Rounding out the top 10: ESPN with a 1.3; and Fox News Channel and Discovery Channel, each with a 1.2.
On a total-day basis, Nick was in its usual first-place perch with a 1.7, well ahead of TNT’s 1.2. Disney was third with a 1.1, while Cartoon, TBS and USA all posted 1.0 ratings for the 24-hour measurement.
All told, SpongeBob accounted for five of the top-10 highest-rated shows of the week, led by a 4.7 household mark for the airing of SpongeBob Goes Prehistoric March 5 from 9:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
Another SpongeBob installment leading into the special ranked second with a 4.4, while the Monk episode that evening averaged a 4.0 from 10 p.m.-11 p.m.