Whoopi Beats NFL; ESPN Bests TNT


Buoyed by a pair of National Football League games, ESPN edged Turner Network
Television, which aired the second-highest-rated movie of the year, for the
primetime diadem last week.

The total sports network averaged a 2.4 household rating Nov. 26 through Dec.
2, easing past TNT's 2.3 average, fueled by Whoopi Goldberg film Call Me

According to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media
Research, Lifetime Television was third with a 2.0 average, followed by Turner
networks TBS Superstation and Cartoon Network, each with a 1.6.

Rounding out the top 10 in primetime: Nickelodeon and USA Network with a 1.4
apiece; Cable News Network at a 1.3; and A&E Network and Fox News Channel,
both averaging a 1.2.

On a total-day basis, Nickelodeon, per usual, was first, garnering a 1.4
average, ahead of Lifetime's 1.3, according to the Turner analysis.

Cartoon was third on a 24-hour basis with a 1.1, followed by TBS and TNT
knotted in fourth at a 1.0. There was a four-way tie for fifth among CNN, ESPN,
A&E and FNC, all at a 0.8.

Spurred by Call Me Claus, TNT was first in the key adults. The network
averaged 1.48 million 18-through-49 viewers and almost 1.55 million adults 25
through 54.

TNT's fortunes were also lifted by a pair of airings of timeless classic
The Wizard of Oz and the supplemental We All Dream of Oz.

On a household basis, the Dec. 2 premiere of Call Me Claus from 8 p.m.
to 10 p.m., generating a 6.3 household rating, was the top show of the week and
the second-best movie on basic cable for the year to date.

That performance trailed only the 9.6 rating roped by TNT's presentation of
Louis L'Amour's Crossfire Trail Jan. 21.

The San Francisco 49ers' trouncing of the Buffalo Bills Dec. 2 was second for
the week with a 5.8, besting the Philadelphia Eagles' triumph over the Kansas
City Chiefs Nov. 29, which tackled a 4.7 rating.

TNN: The National Network's presentation of World Wrestling Federation
Entertainment Inc. fare Nov. 26 ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, with the
10 p.m. to 11 p.m. slot's 4.5 average topping its one-hour predecessor's

TNT's Dec. 1 airing of The Wizard of Oz from 8 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. was
sixth with a 3.6, while the flanking We All Dream of Oz captured a 3.3
household rating.

The final three spots in basic's top 10 for the week went to Nick staple
SpongeBob SquarePants, with a pair of 3.1 ratings at 10 a.m. Dec. 1 and
Dec. 2, respectively, and a 3.0 average for its installment at 10:30 p.m. that