Pirates Helps USA Win the Week

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was the top movie at the box office last week, while its predecessor was the top show in basic cable.

USA Network’s July 15 airing of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl slashed its way to a 5.5 household rating, helping the “characters” service to reach the top of the medium with a 2.9 household av­erage for the week of July 10-16, according to a Disney ABC Cable Networks analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Officials at USA -- which also scored with new episodes of its Friday-night combo of Monk and Psych July 14 -- said Black Pearl attracted 7.4 million total viewers, the biggest theatrical in the network’s history. Along with strong showings from WWE Monday Night Raw, The 4400 and The Dead Zone, USA enjoyed its largest weekly audience ever among total viewers.

Moreover, the 3.9 million adults 25-54 who tuned in on average between 8 p.m.-11 p.m. that night were the most among that demo in basic cable for a theatrical in five years.

Disney Channel was second last week with a 2.2 household average, according to the Nielsen data, ahead of TNT’s 2.0, which was aided by a 5.3 mark for The Closer July 10, the third-highest-rated show last week.

ESPN, boosted by a 5.4 for second-ranked Home Run Derby that same night, was tied with Fox News Channel, Lifetime Television and Hallmark Chan­nel with 1.5 averages for the week.

TBS was next with a 1.4 average, while Cartoon Network and Nick at Nite com­pleted the top 10, both with a 1.3.

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