USA Wins Takes Weekly Ratings Race


USA Network emerged victorious last week as it drew more eyeballs than all basic cable networks.

Riding the continually strong performance of its scripted series Burn Notice and Royal Pains, USA drew an average of 3.5 million viewers during the week of July 27 to Aug 2, besting Disney Channel's 2.9 million viewer average, according to an Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research.

TNT finished third with 2.2 million viewers, followed by Fox News Network's 2.1 million and Nick At Nite's 1.8 million. TBS (1.6 million); Food Network (1.48 million); Family Channel (1.46 million); ESPN (1.37 million); and HGTV (1.36 million) rounded out the top 10.

On a 24-hour basis, Nickelodeon's 2.1 million viewers barely edged out Disney's 2.09 million average audience.

TNT's July 27 episode of The Closer topped all basic cable programs for the week, averaging 7.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen. USA secured the next four spots, with July 30 airings of drama series Burn Notice and Royal Pains finishing second and third with 6.6 million and 6.3 million viewers respectively, and both hours of its July 27 WWE Monday Night Raw show pinning down the fourth and fifth slots.

Also of note for the week was the Aug. 2 season five finale of Food Network's The Next Food Network Star, which drew a network record 5.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Overall the series was watched by a network record 32 million cumulative viewers, said Food Network officials.

Top 10 Most Watched Shows*

Show  Date Network   Total Viewers
1. The Closer                                                 7/27                          TNT                                      7.4 million

2. Burn Notice                                                7/30                          USA                                      6.6 million
3. Royal Pains                                               7/30                          USA                                      6.3 million
4. WWE Raw (10:00-11:14)                        7/27                          USA                                      5.8 million
5. WWE Raw (9:00-10:00)                          7/27                          USA                                      5.6 million
6. Next Food Network Star                          8/2                             Food                                     5.4 million
7. Wizards Of Waverly Place                       7/31                          Disney                                  4.8 million
8. NCIS                                                           7/30                           USA                                      4.24 million
9. Law & Order: CI                                        8/2                              USA                                      4.23 million
10.Wizards Of Waverly Place                     8/2                              Disney                                  4.2 million

*For the week of July 27 to Aug. 2.
Source: Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research.