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Disney Tops Weekly Ratings Race

With no ESPN and TNT NBA playoffs coverage to contend with, Disney Channel earned top honors as the most watched cable network in primetime last week, according to Nielsen.

Disney, on the strength of the 5.6 million viewers that tuned into its June 15 original musical film Let It Shine, averaged 2.8 million viewers during the week of June 11 to June 17, according to a Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data.

TNT, which boasted the most watched show of the week with the premiere of Dallas, finished second with 2.6 million viewers. USA Network pulled into third place with 2.6 million viewers, followed by History with 2.3 million viewers and Fox News with 1.6 million watchers.

A&E (1.6 million viewers); TBS (1.5 million); Fx (1.29 million), ESPN (1.26 million) and Food Network (1.25 million) rounded out the top 10.

Disney also finished first on a total day basis, besting Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and TNT in that order. Disney also dominated the kids category, topping Nickelodeon among key kids 2 to 11 and 6 to 11 demos, according to Nielsen.

USA Network and its WWE Monday Night Raw live wrestling series were the top network and program choices respectively among adults 18-49, while USA Network and MTV's Teen Mom 4 captured more 18-34 viewers last week.

Most Watched Shows For The Week*
16/13/2012    Dallas                                                TNT                                  6.8 million
26/15/2012    Let It Shine                                       Disney Channel              5.6 million
36/11/2012    Pawn Stars                                       History                              5.6 million
46/11/2012    Pawn Stars                                       History                             5.5 million
56/17/2012    Sprint Cup Racing/Michigan         TNT                                   5.2 million
66/12/2012    Rizzoli & Isles                                  TNT                                   5.1 million
76/11/2012     WWE Entertainment                       USA                                 5.0 million
86/11/2012    WWE Entertainment                       USA                                 4.8 million
96/11/2012    American Pickers                            History                            4.8 million
116/17/2012  Falling Skies                                    TNT                                 4.4 million
*week of 6/11 to 6/17

Source: Nielsen

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.