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`His Airness,' Julia Elevate TBS

Buoyed by coverage of the first night of Michael Jordan's latest return to
the National Basketball Association and theatrical workhorse Pretty
Woman
, TBS Superstation led basic cable in primetime ratings last week.

TBS averaged a 2.0 from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4, topping Lifetime Television's
1.8 and USA Network's 1.5.

According to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media
Research data, Turner Network Television, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network were
all tied for fourth with a 1.4.

Fox News Channel and Cable News Network were next with a 1.3 and a 1.1,
respectively, as viewer interest in anthrax threats and updates on the war
effort in Afghanistan evidently cooled.

ESPN matched CNN, while A&E Network and Discovery Channel completed the
top 10, each with a 1.0.

On a total-day basis, Nickelodeon was in its historic position: first with a
1.3 average. That beat Lifetime, TBS and Cartoon, all with a 1.1. CNN, USA and
FNC, meanwhile, averaged a 0.9 over the 24-hour measurement.

Jordan's Oct. 30 return with the Washington Wizards against the New York
Knicks netted TBS a 3.3 household rating -- basic cable's largest-ever audience
for an NBA season opener, according to the network.

The pro-hoop contest was basic cable's sixth-highest-rated show of the
week.

Julia Roberts theatrical Pretty Woman, meanwhile, posted a 4.0 rating
Nov. 4, opposite such high-profile programming as game seven of Major League
Baseball's World Series, the Emmy Awards and the final installment of Home Box
Office miniseries Band of Brothers.

Pretty Woman's performance tied it with the first hour (9 p.m. to 10
p.m.) of TNN: The National Network's World Wrestling Federation Entertainment
Inc. fare Oct. 29 as the second-highest-rated show of the week. The second WWFE
hour that night was first with a 4.2.

Rounding out the top 10 shows: TNT's coverage of the National Association for
Stock Car Auto Racing's Pop Secret 400 (a 3.6 household rating Nov. 4); ESPN's
presentation of the National Football League game between the New York Jets and
New Orleans Saints (a 3.4 that night); Cartoon's Dragon Ball Z (a 3.2
Nov. 1 and a 2.8 Oct. 29); Lifetime movie Before He Wakes (a 3.0 Nov. 4);
and Nick's Rugrats (a 2.8 Nov. 4).

Jordan and Julia also vaulted TBS to the top of the adult demo heap,
according to the Turner analysis. The network averaged 1.43 million
18-through-49 viewers and 1.31 million among the 25-through-54
set.