Turner Network Television returned to the top of the cable Nielsen Media Research ratings in January, dethroning
Lifetime Television from its usual perch.
TNT registered a 2.0 prime-time average for the month, lifted by blistering
ratings for its original Western, Monte Walsh, according to Nielsen data provided by ABC Cable Networks and Turner Broadcasting System Inc.
TNT gambled by airing Monte Walsh three straight nights in prime time, but
the strategy proved a hit.
The Jan. 17 premiere grabbed a 5.7 rating, followed by a 4.0 for the
Jan. 18 play and a 2.7 Jan. 19.
Lifetime claimed the second spot with a 1.8 rating, but it was off 22 percent
from January 2001.
Nickelodeon took third with a 1.7 average, followed by TBS Superstation with
a 1.6 and USA Network counting a 1.5 average rating.
Fox News Channel recorded a 1.2 average, up 15 percent from last year.
With football season over, ESPN slid down to a 1.1 average, equaling
A&E Network's and The Learning Channel's marks.
Other top-rated shows for the month included TBS' original JFK Jr. biopic,
America's Prince, which scored a 4.9 rating Jan. 12, and TLC's Trading SpacesVegas: Live Reveal special Jan. 18, which earned a 4.4.