Planet Earth Draws Viewers and Basic Cable Quarterly Ratings

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Discovery's Planet Earth miniseries held strong in its second week on Sunday (April 1), averaging 5.4 million and 5.9 million viewers for back-to-back new episodes at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively. The special, which runs for three more weeks, premiered March 24 to an average 5.7 million viewers over three hours , according to Nielsen Media Research.

PlanetEarth took third in the weekly basic cable ratings, beat by Nick's Kids Choice Awards, which drew 6.1 million viewers March 31 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., and Monday night WWE wrestling on USA, which averaged 5.5 million viewers March 26 from 10:00 p.m. to 11:10 p.m.

With the Earth numbers factored in, Discovery placed seventh in the basic cable rankers for first quarter (Jan. 1 through April 1), with an average 1.4 million total viewers during prime. USA ranked first for the quarter, with 2.7 million viewers followed by non-ad-supported Disney with 2.5 million, TNT with 2 million, TBS with 1.7 million, Fox News with 1.6 million.

Disney posted first quarter's top two programs with the Jan. 12 premieres of the movie Jump In! and the series Cory in the House. Jump drew 8.5 million viewers from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Cory drew 7.7 million from 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. TNT's Feb. 18 NBA All-Stargametook third for the quarter with an average 6.9 million viewers from 8:47 p.m. to 11:20 p.m. It was followed by three installments of 10 p.m. Monday-night WWE wrestling on USA on March 12, Feb. 26 and March 5.

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