Strong contributions from a pair of series, an original telepic and an esteemed dog show gave USA Network the primetime edge of Turner Network Television and its galaxy of National Basketball Association All-Stars, in the midst of the February sweeps period.
USA averaged a 2.6 household rating from Feb. 9 through 15, according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.
TNT, which televised the NBA All-Star Game and related festivities, was second with a 2.3 mark.
Hoops helped TNT finish first among adults 18 to 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-to-34 crowd on average last week.
USA was second in both demos, with 1.29 million and 504,000 viewers, respectively. USA topped TNT among adults 25 to 54 by 1.43 million to 1.29 million.
Turning back to households, kids' networks were well represented. Nickelodeon was No. 3 at a 2.0, Disney Channel fourth at 1.8 and Cartoon Network scored a 1.5.
Rounding out the week's top 10: TBS Superstation and Lifetime Television each had a 1.4, Fox News Channel had a 1.2 and The History Channel and Sci Fi Channel both tallied a 1.1.
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 at a 1.1.
TNT counted the week's top two shows in terms of household ratings: the NBA All-Star Game averaged a 6.2 on Feb. 15 and a pre-game lead-in posted a 5.2. All-Star Saturday Night, with its shooting contests, was 13th overall, garnering a 3.6 on Feb. 14.
The latest installment of USA drama hit Monk was third for the week: the Feb. 13 episode pulled in a 4.3. USA's attention-getting telefilm The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story was a powerful lead-in for Monk, earning a 3.9 from 8 to 10 p.m. An encore two nights later drew a 2.9 rating.
Although coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show dropped by 22% from the prior year, USA still walked away with a 2.9 average for its canine coverage Feb. 9-10.