In the dog days of summer, Lifetime Television proved to be cable's most
popular indoor distraction.
In August, the women's network led all ad-supported cable networks in prime time
Nielsen Media Research ratings, finishing the month with a 2.1 average.
Lifetime's Sunday-night original dramas and movies fueled its performance,
including made-for-TV flick The Secret Life of Zoey, which grabbed a 3.9
rating Aug. 19, making it the month's highest-rated original movie.
Television followed in second with a 1.9 average in prime time, according to
TNT's best August numbers came from two National Association for Stock Car
Auto Racing Winston Cup races, the Sharpie 500 (4.8 Aug. 24) and the Pepsi 400
(5.3 Aug. 18).
USA Network and Nickelodeon chimed in with 1.7 ratings apiece, followed by
ESPN and Cartoon Network, each with 1.6 ratings.
TNT claimed the top spot with
two key demographic groups.
The Turner network attracted 1.2 million viewers 25 through 54 in prime time
and 1.1 million adults 18 through 49. USA boasted the most adults 18 through 34
with an average of 516,000 in prime time.
Fox News Channel posted the biggest ratings gains, up 43 percent from last
Thanks to early ratings for The Anna Nicole Show
, E! Entertainment Television notched a 0.7
rating, up 40 percent.
Anna Nicole continued her four-week slide, though. After debuting to a 4.1
rating Aug. 4, she dipped to a 1.8 rating Aug. 25.
ESPN, Home & Garden Television and Bravo all increased ratings 33 percent.
CNBC continued its ratings slide, off 50 percent to a 0.2
compared with a 0.4 a year ago.
The Weather Channel was off 33 percent, also with a 0.2 rating.
SoapNet dropped to a 0.5, down 29 percent from last
August, and Comedy Central and Travel Channel were each off 25