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Cable Stokes Summer

With no breakout hits on broadcast this summer, cable networks have proved again that they can steal the spotlight in the hot months with returning and new original series alike. Below is a report card on some of the summer’s cable series.


The Closer

: In its second season, the TNT series continues to soar. Through six episodes, it has averaged 6.33 million total viewers, ranking as ad-supported cable’s top original scripted series this year. It’s solid in adults 25-54 with 2.63 million. The network’s freshman drama Saved is also posting good numbers: 3.43 million total viewers over six episodes (1.67 million in 25-54).


and Psych: USA packs a one-two punch on Friday nights with its quirky dramas. In its fifth season, Monk has averaged 4.99 million viewers over two episodes and is strong in adults 25-54, with
2.23 million. Newcomer Psych averaged 5.52 million total viewers and has done well with adults 18-49, with 2.25 million, and 25-54, with 2.6 million.


: Sci Fi’s two-hour premiere of the show was the network’s highest-rated series telecast ever, with 4.05 million total viewers.

Project Runway

: In its third season, Bravo’s designer-focused reality series is strong, averaging 2.58 million total viewers. Episode two on July 19 was the most-viewed cable program of the day in adults 18-49, with 1.8 million viewers.

Kyle XY

: Over four episodes, ABC Family’s original sci-fi series has averaged 1.97 million total viewers, its highest-rated original series ever. It’s averaged 368,000 viewers in its target demo, viewers 12-17, second only in the time period to sister network Disney Channel.

The Hills

: MTV’s Laguna Beach spinoff has proved that viewers can’t get enough of pretty SoCal teens and blurred boundaries between scripted and reality. Since its debut, it has averaged 2.4 million total viewers, a huge 2 million of them concentrated in MTV’s 12-34 sweet spot.



: Showtime’s drama premiered July 9 to 694,000 total viewers. Then, exploiting corporate synergy, CBS aired the episode to 3.4 million viewers. Despite the cross-promotion, the second episode’s premiere on Showtime got only 158,000 total viewers.

Lucky Louie

: HBO’s risk on a multicamera scripted comedy hasn’t yielded great returns. Through six episodes, it has averaged just 1.41 million total viewers, failing to hold on to most of its Entourage lead-in.


: Spike’s first scripted action drama premiered June 28 to a decent 2.5 million viewers but lost more than half of them by the fourth episode, which averaged 1.07 million. It also fell off by about half in Spike’s target demos to 428,000 men 18-34 and 781,000 men 18-49.