USA Tops in Primetime for Week


Riding the strength of a pair of series, an original telepic and a dog show, USA Network led the way in basic cable in primetime last week.

USA averaged a 2.6 household rating Feb. 9-15, according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Turner Network Television -- which benefited from its coverage of the National Basketball Association All-Star Game and related festivities -- was second with a 2.3 mark.

The hoops fare helped TNT to finish first among adults 18-49 as the drama network dunked 1.42 million of those viewers on average, according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen data. TNT also won with young adults, scoring 758,000 of the 18-34 crowd on average last week.

USA was second among both demos, collecting 1.29 million and 504,000 watchers from the respective sets. It topped TNT among adults 25-54, 1.43 million to 1.29 million.

Back on the household watch, the kids’ networks were well represented as Nickelodeon was third at a 2.0, Disney Channel fourth with a 1.8 and Cartoon Network at a 1.5.

Rounding out the top 10 for the week: TBS Superstation and Lifetime Television, each with a 1.4; Fox News Channel with a 1.2; and The History Channel and Sci Fi Channel, both with a 1.1.

Gauged on a total-day basis, Nickelodeon was in its usual first-place perch, averaging a 1.7 among households. TNT and Disney were second at a 1.3 apiece, followed by USA and Cartoon, both of which notched a 1.1 over the 24-hour measurement.

TNT counted the week’s two top shows in terms of household ratings, as the NBA All-Star Game averaged a 6.2 Feb. 15, while its pregame lead-in posted up a 5.2. All-Star Night -- featuring the league’s dunk and three-point shooting contests -- was 13th overall, garnering a 3.6 on Valentine’s night.

The latest installment of Monk, USA’s hit detective series, was third for the week with the Feb. 13 episode pulling in a 4.3. The network’s telefilm ripped from the headlines, The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story, proved to be a powerful lead-in for the Tony Shalhoub-starrer, earning a 3.9 from 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

USA was also powered by the continued prowess of off-net series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as its coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which produced a 2.9 average Feb. 9-10.