Lifetime Television remained the top cable network in the Nielsen Media Research household rankings,
posting a 2.1 rating in prime time, although it showed no growth for the period.
Nickelodeon tied with Turner Network Television for second place with a 1.8. Nick grew 6 percent,
in part from the strength of repackaged reruns of The Cosby Show. TNT's
20 percent jump came, in large part, from theatrical movies.
ESPN and USA Network tied for fourth, each with a 1.7.
In the news wars, third-quarter ratings were distorted by the absence of the
huge spike last year during weeks immediately following Sept. 11. Household ratings
for Fox News Channel, for example, were flat at a 1.1, which belies the strong gains in
viewership when the Sept. 11 bump is factored out. Cable News Network and CNN Headline News were off 33
percent, to 0.8 for CNN and 0.2 for its sibling. MSNBC fell 43 percent to a 0.4.