USA Edges TNT, Nick at Nite

USA Network nipped Turner Network Television and Nick at Nite for basic-cable primetime-ratings laurels last week.

With a 2.1 average March 28-April 3, USA edged out the drama network and the retro sitcom purveyor by 0.1 points.

Disney Channel was fourth with a 1.7, ahead of Cartoon Network’s 1.6 mark, according to a Disney ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Lifetime Television and Fox News Channel were next, each with a 1.5, while TBS was eighth with a 1.4. ESPN and Spike TV rounded out the top 10, both scoring a 1.3 in the period.

Cable News Network -- aided by its coverage of and commentary on the death of Pope John Paul II over the past weekend -- shared 11th with The History Channel and Sci Fi Channel at a 1.1 rating.

Gauged on a total-programming-day basis, Nickelodeon -- bolstered by its 18th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards April 2, the week’s second highest-rated show, with a 3.9 mark -- led the way with a 1.9. Sister channel sharer Nick at Nite registered a 1.5 to finish second, ahead of Cartoon and TNT, both with a 1.3.

In its first week from a Nielsen perspective as its own network spinoff from Cartoon, late-night entry Adult Swim grabbed a piece of fifth along with Disney at a 1.1. Adult Swim airs from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. each day except Fridays.

Spike’s presentation of WWE Raw from 10 p.m.-11 p.m. March 28 was the highest-rated show of the week with a 4.1, while the earlier hour was third with a 3.8.

Come fall, Raw will return to USA Network as part of a three-year deal the grappling group signed with NBC Universal.