HBO’s fantasy drama Game of Thrones is the most watched entertainment-based series on cable so far this summer (through Aug. 7) on a Nielsen live-plus-7-day basis counting average total viewers, per the ratings company.
The sixth season of the fantasy series bested a trio of TNT scripted shows — Major Crimes, Rizzoli & Isles and The Last Ship, according to Nielsen.
For networks, the 2016 presidential campaign was a huge summertime draw for the cable news channels. Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC all ranked among the top 10 most watched networks in live-plus-7-day primetime ratings for the summer among total viewers through Aug. 7, according to Nielsen.
Fox News is poised to finish as the most watched network on cable this summer and the only network to average more than 2 million viewers for the period.
The news networks were the only cable channels among the top 10 that garnered a year-to-year viewership gain. Of the seven remaining channels, five posted double-digit declines, Nielsen reported.
Download a PDF of Cable's Summer Ratings Charts.
Summer’s Top 10 Cable Entertainment Series *
SHOW NETWORK TOTAL VIEWERS
Game of Thrones HBO 11.5 million
Major Crimes TNT 6.5 million
Rizzoli & Isles TNT 6.4 million
The Last Ship TNT 3.9 million
Alaskan Bush People Discovery Channel 3.9 million
The Haves and the Have Nots OWN 3.6 million
WWE Monday Night Raw USA Network 3.5 million
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Vh1 3.5 million
Suits USA Network 3.4 million
Street Outlaws Discovery Channel 3.3 million
Summer’s 10 Most Watched Cable Networks *
NETWORK SUMMER 2016 SUMMER 2015 % CHANGE
Fox News Channel 2.4 million 1.9 million +28%
TNT 1.6 million 2.0 million -17%
USA 1.6 million 1.9 million -14%
HGTV 1.6 million 1.6 million -2%
Discovery Channel 1.4 million 1.7 million -18%
Disney Channel 1.3 million 1.8 million -26%
History 1.3 million 1.5 million -10%
TBS 1.3 million 1.4 million -5%
CNN 1.3 million 596,000 +122%
MSN BC 1.2 million 627,000 +91%
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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.