TNT Races to Weekly Win


Turner Network Television set the household pace in primetime last week, leading basic cable with a 2.3 rating.

That performance -- revved by TNT’s coverage of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing’s Budweiser Shootout Feb. 7, the week’s No. 2 show -- gave the drama network a 0.4-point edge over both USA Network and Nickelodeon Feb. 2-8, according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

TNT also made it a clean sweep among the key adult demos: It placed first among adults 18-34 (533,000 of those viewers on average), 18-49 (nearly 1.3 million) and 25-54 (1.46 million).

Back on the household watch, Disney Channel and ESPN -- the latter boosted by the return of the National Football League’s all-star game, the Pro Bowl, after a nine-year absence -- ranked fourth and fifth with a 1.6 and a 1.5, respectively.

Rounding out the top 10: TBS Superstation with a 1.5; Cartoon Network at a 1.4; Lifetime Television and Fox News Channel, each with a 1.2; and Discovery Channel and Sci Fi Channel, both averaging a 1.1.

A&E Network, The Learning Channel and The History Channel finished just out of that group, all posting a 1.0 for the week in question.

Perennial leader Nick scored a 1.6 on a total-day basis, holding a 0.3-point edge over TNT. Disney and Cartoon were third and fourth with a 1.2 and 1.0, respectively, ahead of Lifetime, TBS and USA, all of which averaged a 0.9 over the 24-hour measurement.

ESPN’s coverage of the Pro Bowl Feb. 8 scored a 4.8, the highest of any basic-cable show for the week but well off the network’s 7.7 household mark for its 2003 regular-season schedule.

The Feb. 6 installment of USA’s quirky detective series, Monk, was tied for third with MTV: Music Television’s Real World episode Feb. 3 -- both pulled a 4.0.

Showings of Nick’s Fairly OddParents, Spike TV’s coverage of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. grappling and MTV’s Newlyweds completed the week’s top 10 shows, according to the ABC Cable analysis.