Forget about last week's college football upsets: Disney Channel took the measure of Nickelodeon in total-day Nielsens for only the second time in its history last week.
Gauged on a live + same day basis for the week ended Nov. 20, Disney Channel averaged 1.74 million watchers, compared with Nick's 1.69 million mark, according to Nielsen. The only other time, Disney Channel topped the kids' kingpin was the week of Aug. 13, 2007, which featured the premiere of High School Musical 2. The telefilm premiered to 17.2 million viewers on Aug. 17 of that year, which made it the medium's top show at the time. The original movie still stands as cable's most-watched entertainment telecast, although it has fallen behind ESPN's coverage of college football bowl games and Monday Night Football action.
This time round, Disney Channel attributed its win to the performance of original series Jessie, Good Luck Charlie, A.N.T. Farm, Shake It Up and Phineas and Ferb, as well as the bow of animated special Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games.
That half-hour program averaged 4.3 million watchers at 7 p.m. on Nov. 19, making it the No. 1 animated cable telecast for the week. Moreover, Tinker Bell, Disney Channel officials pointed out, nearly doubled Nick's debut of Dora's Enchanted Forest, which averaged 2.3 million in the 7 p.m. hour the following night.
In primetime, Disney Channel was second for the week averaging 2.69 million viewers, to trail only cable cousin ESPN's football-fueled 3.91 million.
For the third time in 2011, Disney ranked first among kids 2 to 11 in total day. Disney Channel also ranked first in TV among kids 6 to 11 (607,000 of those viewers) and boys (260,000) and girls 347,000) of that age and continued to set the pace among tweens, 9 to14. Channel officials said the network has been TV's No. 1 performer with both of those demos on a total-day basis for a record 23 consecutive weeks.
Moreover, with five weeks remaining in 2011, Disney Channel is moving toward donning the total-day crown among kids 6 to 11 for the first time. The network is averaging 670,000 of those viewers, while Nick counts 650,000 on the 24-hour measure, according to Nielsen data.
It is also poised to finish first with tweens in total day for a third consecutive year.