USA Network edged out Turner Network Television and Nickelodeon to nab the top spot in the January cable Nielsen race.
USA averaged a 2.1 household rating and 2.49 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Nick posted a 2.0 with 2.32 million viewers and TNT attracted a 2.0 and 2.26 million viewers.
The return of Monk and consistently strong ratings for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit buoyed USA’s prime time marks. Monk’s Jan. 16 season premiere collected 6 million viewers, making it the month’s most-watched cable show. A Jan. 23 Monk episode nabbed 5.9 million viewers.
Disney Channel (1.9 rating and 2.18 million viewers); TBS Superstation (1.7 and 2.06 million viewers); and Lifetime (1.7 and 1.85 million viewers) rounded out the top five.
Without any regular or playoff NFL games, ESPN, the ratings king throughout the fall and fourth quarter, slipped to a 1.3 in prime and 1.6 million viewers.
Discovery Channel had a good month, with ratings up 20% to a 1.2 compared with a year ago. The History Channel jumped 22% to a 1.1 compared to Jan. 2003.
Fox News Channel posted an average 1.2 in prime with 1.38 million viewers, while CNN averaged a 0.7 rating and 786,000 viewers. In what Fox says is a ratings first, Fox’s total day averages (from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m.) bested CNN’s marks for prime time. In total day, Fox posted an average 0.8 rating and 810,000 viewers.