USA Network was ad-supported cable's most-watched network in prime time in the third quarter, delivering an average 2.75 million total viewers and a 2.2 household rating in the period ending Sept. 24.
It was boosted by the television premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl," which ranked eighth among all cable programming in the quarter. The Turner net had won the
second-quarter race, but finished behind USA this time. Top 20 networks that saw significant drops in prime were: Fox News Channel, down 35 percent in total viewers and off 38 percent in the 25-54
demo (409,000); Nick-at-Nite, down 28 percent; and Spike TV, down 27 percent to 1.2 million viewers. CNN--ranked 23rd overall in the quarter--dropped 24 percent to 858,000 in total viewers, and fell
31 percent among the 25-54 demo (280,000).