The first Nielsen month of 2003 is in the books, and the primetime winner is
Turner Network Television.
Riding the strength of original telepic Monte Walsh, TNT ranked first
in primetime in terms of household ratings and among delivery of adults 18
through 49 and 25 through 54 during the period spanning Dec. 30 through Jan.
TNT averaged a 2.0 household rating in January to best Lifetime Television's
1.8 average, according to an ABC Cable Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research
Kids' networks Nickelodeon and Disney Channel were tied for third, each with
a 1.7, while TBS Superstation was fifth with a 1.6.
Rounding out the top 10: USA Network with a 1.5; Cartoon Network with a 1.3;
Fox News Channel at a 1.2; and A&E Network, ESPN and The Learning Channel,
all with a 1.1.
Gauged on a total-day basis, Nickelodeon was on familiar ground, leading the
pack with a 1.5 household rating, according to the ABC Cable analysis. Lifetime
(1.3) and TNT (1.1) finished second and third, respectively. There was a
three-way tie for fourth at a 1.0 among Disney, Cartoon and TBS.
From a demographic perspective, TNT set the pace among adults 18 through 49
and 25 through 54, averaging 1.04 million of the former watchers this month and
1.19 million of the latter, according to a Turner Entertainment Research
analysis of Nielsen data.
TBS ranked second with both groups, averaging 1.02 million and 1 million of
the respective audiences.
MTV: Music Television was No. 1 among adults 18 through 34 in January,
attracting 546,000 of that set on average. TBS (487,000) was second and USA
(423,000) third. The latter was also third with the two older-adult
As for the top shows for the month, it was quite a diverse lot for basic
TNT -- which deployed a multiplay strategy for its Western original flick --
roped the best rating of the month with a 5.7 for its Jan. 17 airing of Monte
Walsh from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The following night's encore of the Tom Selleck-starrer earned a 4.0, good
for a tie for sixth with The New TNN's presentation of World Wrestling
Entertainment Inc. fare Jan. 13 and ESPN's coverage of the Peach Bowl on New
TBS' original film, America's Prince: The JFK Jr. Story, registered a
4.4 average Jan. 12 to finish second, ahead of TLC's Trading Spaces and
its "live reveal" installment from Las Vegas Jan. 18, which scored a 4.4.,
according to the ABC Family analysis.
The Jan. 25 episode of Trading Spaces at 9 p.m. was fifth with a 4.1,
just behind the 4.2 ESPN tackled with the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.
TNN's wrestling action was ninth with a 3.9 Jan. 20. The earlier grappling
hours that night and Jan. 13 each pinned a 3.8 to finish in a tie for
That position was matched by ESPN, which televised the first National
Basketball Association matchup between Yao Ming and Shaquille O'Neal Jan.