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Statues, Pigskins and Elephants Lead Cable

MTV: Music Television's Video Music Awards was the top basic-cable show of the third quarter in total viewers and key demos.

After that, sports and politics topped the list of basic-cable draws for all viewers, though politics fell off the chart with younger viewers.

According to Nielsen numbers, ESPN had four of the top five shows--Sunday night NFL games and the MLB All-Star Game Home Run Derby. Fox News Channel coverage of the Republican convention held three of the next five spots.

In fact, the only scripted series that made the top 10 in people 2-plus was USA's The 4,400.

Sports remained among the top shows in key demos, with ESPN claiming three of the top four programs with 18-34's and four of the top five with 18-49's.

FNC's political coverage did not make the top 20 shows in either of those key voting demos, with 18-34's far more interested in MTV's Nick & Jessica (six of the top 20 spots) than in D.C.'s Dick and George.