Weekly Ratings Race Tightens

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ESPN held a sizable edge, but six other networks were bunched up atop the weekly primetime-ratings race in basic cable last week.

The total sports network, boosted by its coverage of the National Football League game between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins -- the medium's top-rated show of the week with a 7.6 household number Nov. 10 -- averaged a 2.3 Nov. 4 through 11.

Lifetime Television was second with a 1.8, while Nickelodeon, Turner Network Television and USA Network were knotted in third with 1.6 averages, according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Fox News Channel and Cartoon Network were next, each averaging a 1.5. TBS Superstation -- which aired the week's highest-rated theatrical with The Whole Nine Yards, recording a 2.5 -- was eighth.

The Learning Channel and Sci Fi Channel finished with 1.0 averages, ahead of the 0.9 scored by Cable News Network, A&E Network and Discovery Channel.

ESPN also swept the adult demos, finishing first among the 18-through-34 set (715,000 of those viewers on average), the 18-through-49 group (1.38 million) and the 25-through-54 crowd (1.36 million).

Driven by the Real World XII installment that earned a 3.8 household rating Nov. 10 and was the top-rated show among the demo, MTV: Music Television ranked second among adults 18 through 34. USA ranked second among the other two adult demo groups.

TLC's Trading Spaces They Hated It special from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Nov. 10. notched three spots among the top-rated shows among the two older adult groups, pushing the network to sixth-place finishes with those audiences last week. The 10 p.m. installment that night registered a 3.4 household rating, good for ninth overall.

Nickelodeon was first in total-day averaging a 1.5, ahead of Lifetime and Cartoon, both of which grabbed a 1.1 average over the 24-hour measurement.

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