Big Week For Cable Shows

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What a week for cable programming viewership performances.

The week began June 22 with a special TLC Jon & Kate Plus 8 episode -- in which the troubled reality couple announced a split from each other -- becoming the most-watched cable show of the year with 10.60 million viewers, only to be topped six days later as Sunday's BET Awards '09 show - which saluted the late Michael Jackson -- drew 10.65 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research figures.

Overall for the week of June 22 to June 28, USA Network and Disney Channel battled for the top spot among cable networks. USA averaged a 2.5 household rating for the week, barely besting Disney's 2.4 household rating, according to Nielsen. But Disney -- aided by the 8.5 million viewers who tuned in by the June 26 premiere of its original movie Princess Protection Program - averaged 3.33 million primetime viewers compared to USA's 3.30 million viewers, according to a Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research.

BET finished third drawing 2.3 million viewers, followed by ESPN (2.2 million viewers), TNT (2.1 million) Fox News (2.0 million) and TLC, Nick At Nite, CNN, TBS and ABC Family Channel (all tied with 1.5 million viewers.)

USA's formidable two-hour WWE Monday Night Raw  franchise finished as the fourth- and sixth-most-watched shows for the week, averaging 7.2 million (10 p.m. hour) and 6.2 million (9 p.m. hour), respectively. Episodes of TNT's The Closer (6.4 million); Disney's Wizards Of Waverly Place (6.0 million); and USA's Royal Pains (5.9 million);  BET Awards '09 After Party (5.3 million); and TNT's June 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race from Loudon, N.H.(5.5 million) and its post-race show coverage (5.4 million) rounded out the top 10 most-watched shows for the week.