Disney's (NYSE:DIS) movie studios may not be doing so well these days, but its broadcast network is coming up roses.

ABC bestedGeneral Electric's (NYSE:GE) NBC, News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) Fox, and Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) CBS in the ratings race for the first week of the new television season in terms of the vital 18-49 demographic, something it apparently hadn't done in 10 years. The Mouse secured the pole position via success stories such as Desperate Housewives and Lost, generating a 21% increase in the 18-49 category versus one year ago. CBS, however, was No. 1 in terms of overall viewer levels. Plus, consider that the spread between CBS and ABC in terms of average overall viewers was narrow (12.9 million vs. 12.3 million, respectively).

This is great news for shareholders of Disney, including me. Then again, I'm also a shareholder of General Electric, whose NBC unit didn't do so well after posting a decrease of 7% in overall viewers. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Coming back to ABC, I have to say its performance impressed me because I was concerned that the network might not maintain its recent momentum. As we all know, you can be top of the heap one year and then bottom of the barrel the next. That's how it goes in Hollywood. But I'm pleased to see that ABC is still bringing in the eyeballs.

Those eyeballs equal revenues, of course. Check out Rick Munarriz's commentary back in June, aptly titled "Easy As ABC."Considering that Invasion performed the best among all the new shows, one has to wonder whether it truly is that easy. It probably isn't. Bob Iger shouldn't rest on ABC's laurels just yet; he needs to ensure that this asset continues to rake in the ad dollars and serves as an antidote for the weak studio segment. Hopefully, last weekend's box office showing of Disney's Flightplan indicates good things to come, as it topped the Boxofficemojo.com charts with a gross of $24.6 million.

ABC may be hot right now, but Disney's stock is not. The downturn in the company's movie business is really taking a toll. Things could be worse, though, if ABC weren't doing gangbuster ratings. So shareholders should take a positive attitude and a long-term perspective for the stock.

Check out more coverage of the kingdom:

Let us know what you think at the Disney discussion board .

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney and General Electric. The Fool has a disclosure policy.