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Monk, Law & Order Boost USA

Highly rated original programming helped push three cable networks to the top of Nielsen Media Research’s cable ratings for the week of Jan. 12-18.

USA Network surged thanks to big ratings for original drama Monk and off-net workhorse Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, pushing the network to a 2.1 household rating in prime and 2.44 million viewers. Monk, with 6 million viewers on Jan. 16, was the week’s top cable show. The following night, two SVU episodes averaged 3.6 million viewers.

Turner Network Television matched the 2.1 household rating and drew 2.38 million viewers and Disney Channel also tallied a 2.1 household rating with 2.47 million viewers.

Both TNT and Disney showcased original movies last weekend and employed a triple-play scheduling tactic-airing the movies Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights-with impressive results. Disney’s Pixel Perfect averaged 3.9 million viewers for its Jan. 16 premiere and didn’t fade in the repeat plays Jan. 17 and Jan. 18. TNT’s remake of Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl attracted 3.5 million viewers for its Jan. 16 debut and followed with about 3 million viewers on the following nights.

Nickelodeon was the week’s fourth-highest rated cable net in prime with a 1.9 household rating and 2.2 million viewers. Lifetime rounded out the top five with a 1.8 rating and 1.98 million viewers. Lifetime’s latest original movie Gracie’s Choice, starring Anne Heche, attracted 4.2 million viewers for its Jan. 12 premiere.