NEW YORK — USA Network’s World Wrestling Federation action, which regularly ranks as one of cable’s highest-rated programs, has been knocked out of first place by computer-generated dinosaurs.
According to Nielsen, Discovery Net’s three-hour special “Walking With Dinosaurs,” which premiered Sunday, reigned as the top-rated ad-supported program on cable for the week of April 10-16, with a whopping 8.0 rating in cable homes (equivalent to 10.7 million viewers).
Monday night’s double dose of WWF action earned the No. 2 and No. 3 slots with a 6.6 and 5.7 rating, respectively. Discovery’s highest-rated program ever, “Dinosaurs,” also ranks as the most-watched nonsporting event on cable so far this season and the most-watched docu ever to air on cable, topping the previous record set by Discovery’s “Raising the Mammoth” last month.
The initial telecast of “Dinosaurs” earned a higher household rating than Fox’s Sunday night lineup and NBC’s Sunday movie, “The Chamber.” “Dinosaurs” delivered more children 2-11 and adults 18-49 than any program on cable Sunday night, and outdelivered CBS and NBC among adults 18-49.
Tied for 34th among all shows for the week, “Dinosaur” drew nearly as many viewers as a new episode of Fox’s “The X-Files,” which aired during the last hour of “Dinosaur,” and attracted more viewers than repeat episodes of network hits “JAG,” “Will & Grace” and “Ally McBeal.”
A co-production with the BBC, “Walking With Dinosaurs” is said to have cost about $10 million, not including the big promotional push in recent weeks.
Auds go for ‘Jailbait’
Overall, cable did well Sunday night, with MTV’s original movie “Jailbait” earning a 3.5 rating (equivalent to 2.6 million viewers) at 9 p.m. According to MTV estimates, the telepic had more viewers in the key 12-24 demo — an average of 2.2 million — than Fox, the WB, ABC, CBS and NBC during the time period.
TBS’ world broadcast premiere of “The Game” at 8 p.m. Sunday earned a 3.2 household rating, making it basic cable’s highest-rated theatrical movie for the week.