Lifted by its coverage of the Republican National Convention, Fox News Channel took the top slot in the latest weekly ranking of basic-cable ratings.
Fox News, which led all cable and broadcast networks at the GOP’s gathering in New York, grabbed eight of the top 10 and a share of 10 of basic cable’s top 12 shows from Aug. 30 through Sept. 5, when it averaged a 2.7 household rating and some 3.19 million viewers, according to a Disney ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.
Fox News edged out Turner Network Television, which averaged a 2.6 over the period. ESPN was third with a 1.7.
Lifetime Television, Nick at Nite, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel shared the fourth spot at 1.6 apiece.
There was also a logjam across the balance of the top 10, as TBS, Cable News Network, FX, A&E Network and The Weather Channel, lifted by coverage of Hurricane Frances, all averaged a 1.2.
Gauged on a total programming-day basis, Nickelodeon was once again the runaway leader, averaging a 1.8 household mark. Channel-sharing sister service Nick at Nite pulled a 1.4 mark, while Fox News was third with a 1.2.
TNT and Cartoon Network rounded out the top five, each averaging a 1.2.
Fox News — whose presentation of the RNC from Aug. 30 through Sept. 2 yielded some of its highest ratings since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 — also fared well in the demographics races. The net was third among advertiser-coveted group of adults ages 18 to 49, with 962,000 (TNT and ESPN had 1.29 million and 1.04 million, respectively), and second among adults 25 to 54 (1.18 million, behind TNT’s 1.44 million).
Fox News even cracked the top 10 among young adults, placing ninth with the 18-to-34 set and averaging 285,000 of those watchers that week.
A weekly scorecard shows Fox News scored highest with President Bush’s acceptance address of the Republican nomination on Sept. 2, averaging a 5.5 household rating from 10:07 to 11:12 p.m.
The second highest-rated segment for the week was the 10-minute Bush video introduced by New York Gov. George Pataki immediately before the president’s speech. It drew a 5.0 rating.
Only TNT’s Sept. 1 telecast of Law & Order from 9 to 10 p.m. (a 4.0); Turner South’s coverage of the Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves on Aug. 31, and an Aug. 30 installment of Law & Order from 9 to 10 p.m. — both of which racked up 3.8 marks in their respective universes — broke Fox News’s hold on the top 12 spots for the week.
FX drama Nip/Tuck was the highest-rated original scripted show for the week, cutting a 3.7 household rating on Aug. 31 from 10-11 p.m., good for a share of 15th overall.
Nip/Tuck also sliced its way to the upper echelons of the demo charts. It finished first among adults 18 to 34 (1.46 million of those watchers) and adults 18 to 49 (3.12 million).