USA Scores Second Consecutive ’10 Win

USA Network posted its second consecutive prime-time ratings sweep, averaging 2.62 million viewers for the week ended Jan. 17, while taking the three major TV demos.

Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data, USA last week delivered 1.2 million adults 25-54, 1.14 million viewers 18-49 and 533,000 viewers 18-49, thanks in large part to its WWE Raw franchise.

The Monday night wrestling showcase was the most-watched program on cable, drawing 5.45 million total viewers on Jan. 11 between 9 p.m. and 11:09 p.m. Raw also took the two larger demos, averaging 2.71 million viewers 18-49 and 2.65 million adults 25-54.

In a week marked by the disaster in Haiti, Fox News Channel took second in prime, drawing 2.41 million prime-time viewers. FNC finished the week with an average draw of 646,000 adults 25-54, good for sixth place.

FNC’s live coverage of the earthquake’s aftermath helped boost its prime time lineup. The news net laid claim to two of the top 10 most-watched programs on ad-supported cable, including Thursday night’s installment of The O’Reilly Factor, which drew 4.21 million viewers/1.09 million adults 25-54.

In prime, FNC easily outpaced its cable news competition, as CNN averaged 1.13 million total viewers/398,000 25-54s and MSNBC served up 670,000 viewers/200,000 25-54s. Total day was marginally tighter, as FNC drew 1.3 million total viewers/371,000 25-54s, while CNN averaged 789,000/278,000. MSNBC finished a distant third (365,000/108,000).

Nick at Nite finished third (2.05 million), edging TNT by some 20,000 viewers. The Viacom net posted its biggest delivery with a Sunday night showing of the 1997 theatrical Good Burger, which drew 3.84 million viewers in the 8 p.m.-10 p.m. slot.

Among the core demos, TNT enjoyed a strong week, taking second place among adults 25-54 (943,000) and viewers 18-49 (906,000). The Turner net’s 18-49 delivery edged sibling TBS by 2,000 viewers.

The return of TNT’s original drama series Leverage drew 3.69 million viewers Wednesday night at 10 p.m., of which 1.77 million were members of the 25-54 demo. The first of the show’s six winter episodes also struck a chord with the 18-49 set, drawing 1.71 million. Meanwhile, Men of a Certain Age showed signs of fatigue on Monday night, averaging 2.87 million viewers, down 14 percent from the series’ five-week average (3.33 million). That said, the Ray Romano project continues to hit its target demo, finishing fifth among adults 25-54 with 1.71 million viewers.

TNT last week renewed Men for a 10-episode second season run.

ABC Family wrapped up the top five with an average delivery of 1.68 million viewers, posting its best demo performance with 18-49s (649,000). The Disney-owned whipped up its largest audience on the week with a Sunday night premiere of the direct-to-DVD flick Bring It On: Fight to the Finish, which scared up 3.72 million viewers in the 8 p.m.-10 p.m. slot.

As is generally the case, the week’s top draws among the core TV demo represented a genre mash-up. The somewhat unquantifiable WWE Raw was tops, averaging 2.71 million viewers 18-49, followed by back-to-back installments of MTV’s Thursday night curiosity Jersey Shore (2.63 million at 11 p.m., 2.24 million at 10 p.m.). Adult Swim’s acquired animated series Family Guy accounted for five of the most-watched programs among the demo, while Leverage was the sole scripted-series representative.

Last week’s top 10 ad-supported cable nets among the core TV demo were: USA, averaging 1.14 million viewers 18-49; TNT (906,000); TBS (904,000); FX (813,000); A&E (797,000); Discovery Channel (651,000); truTV (650,000); ABC Family (645,000); MTV (615,000) and ESPN (590,000).

Non-ad-supported Disney Channel slipped to third place among all basic-cable nets, averaging 2.36 million viewers––52,000 viewers shy of Fox News. While Nick at Nite has begun making things interesting among the demos, The Mouse continued its multiyear winning streak, drawing 966,000 kids 6-11, 1.22 million viewers 6-14 and 761,000 ‘tweens 9-14.

The latter demo of late has become increasingly contentious. Nick at Nite last week averaged 696,000 ‘tweens, putting it within shooting distance (65,000 viewers) of its rival.