Cavemen Rule on Cable Networks

A high-tech special reconstructing the history of prehistoric humans scored big ratings for the Discovery Channel, topping the charts for the week ended June 15.

Walking With Cavemen delivered a 3 rating and 4.78 million viewers watching its premiere at 8 p.m. Sunday. TNN, which had a bad week in its attempts to rebrand to Spike TV, delivered a nearly identical rating and the USA Network premiere of the Ben Stiller-Robert DeNiro flick Meet the Parents was only a few hundred thousand behind. Other networks in the top 10 were Disney, MTV, Nick and TNT.

Among pay cable, HBO ruled the top ratings. The highest-rated program was an 8 p.m. Saturday showing of Star Wars: Episode II, with delivered a 2.8 rating with 4.2 million viewers, followed by a Robin Williams special that delivered a 2.1 with 3.2 million viewers.

In syndication, Wheel of Fortune (8, 8.5 million households), Jeopardy (6.4, 6.7 million), Seinfeld (6.4, 6.8 million), The Oprah Winfrey Show (5.9, 6.2 million) and Seinfeld Weekend (5.9, 6.2 million) were the top five shows of the week.



In another report, the survey of broadcast sports programming, the sixth and final game of the NBA finals between the New Jersey Nets and the San Antonio Spurs delivered a 7.5 rating and a 14 share with 11.57 million people tuning in. Among the top five, three NBA finals games were included along with Fox's coverage of the NASCAR Winston Cup race and the last day of the U.S. Open Golf tournament. Fox's Saturday baseball coverage delivered a 2.4/7 with 3.4 million people tuning in, in the middle of the pack between Friday's coverage on NBC of the U.S. Open Golf tournament and ABC's Global Extremes special on the Outdoor Life Network team's ascent to the summit of Mount Everest.

The top primetime programs in the cable universe according to Nielsen Media Research:

  1. Walking with Caveman (Discovery), 3 rating, 4.78 million viewers.

  2. WWE Entertainment (TNN), 3 rating, 4.74 million viewers.

  3. Meet The Parents Movie (USA), 3 rating, 4.5 million viewers.

  4. The Even Stevens Movie (Disney), 2.7 rating, 5.1 million viewers.

  5. WWE Raw Zone (TNN), 2.6 rating, 4.1 million viewers.

  6. Real World XIII (MTV), 2.6 rating, 4.1 million viewers.

  7. The Osbournes (MTV), 2.5 rating, 3.4 million viewers.

  8. Spongebob (Nick), 2.5 rating, 3.7 million viewers.

  9. Law & Order (TNT), 2.4 rating, 3.3 million viewers.

  10. Fairly Odd Parents (Nick), 2.4 rating, 3.7 million viewers.
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