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Disney, TNT, USA Knotted at the Top

In a hotly contested period, a trio of networks finished in a dead heat in the primetime-household-ratings race last week.

Disney Channel, Turner Network Television and USA Network all garnered 2.1 household averages Jan. 12-18, according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Nickelodeon was fourth with a 1.9, just ahead of Lifetime Television’s 1.8. TBS Superstation was sixth with a 1.7, followed by sister animated service Cartoon Network at a 1.4.

Discovery Channel, MTV: Music Television and Fox News Channel were next, all with 1.2 averages. The Learning Channel, AMC and Sci Fi Channel finished just outside, as each scored a 1.1.

On a total-day basis, Nick was in familiar territory, perched atop its basic-cable competition with a 1.6. That gave the kids’ network a 0.4-point edge over competitor Disney and TNT. USA and Lifetime rounded out the top five, each with a 1.1 over the 24-hour measurement.

The Jan. 16 fresh installment of Monk was the highest-rated ever for the USA original series and the medium’s weekly leader with a 4.6.

Lifetime’s Jan. 13 premiere of telefilm Gracie’s Choice tied a Jan. 13 installment of MTV’s Real World XIV for second with a 3.8. The distaff service’s movie topped original entries from TNT (a remake of Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl) and Disney (Pixel Picture) Jan. 13, when both pulled a 3.0. The Disney film matched that performance the following evening.

Over TNT’s three-night premiere burst and five plays for Girl Jan. 16-18, the network delivered nearly 9.4 million households, 1.8 million adults 18-34, 5.5 million adults 18-49 and 6.2 million adults 25-54.