With guns blazing, TBS harvested an average 1.7 million primetime households for the month, eclipsing women's cable network Lifetime -- the standard bearer during recent Nielsen books -- which wound up averaging 1.6 million homes in November.
But Lifetime shot up by 26% over its rating in November 2000, while TBS climbed a modest 8%.
ESPN finished third for the month, averaging 1.55 million homes, but the network was off by 2% from the previous November. Fourth-place USA averaged 1.4 million homes, growing by 3% from November 2000.
Rounding out the top 10, in order, were Nickelodeon (down 1%), TNT (up 6%), Cartoon (up 6%), Fox News (up 27%), CNN (down 15%) and Discovery (down 2%).
Among programming achievements, ESPN's Nov. 25 cablecast of the Chicago-Minnesota pro football game wound up delivering 7.44 million homes, the network's highest-rated NFL contest of the season. It was basic cable's highest-rated individual program for the month.
TBS's "Lethal Weapon 4" on Sunday, Nov. 11, was basic cable's highest-rated movie of the month, with 7.4 million households.
Three other Sunday movies on TBS finished in the top 50 programs for the month: "Fire Down Below" (5.9 million homes), "Pretty Woman" (5.5 million) and the made-for-TV movie "Invincible" (4.5 million).