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TNT Tops Summer Ratings

TNT led the summer ratings–May 30 through Aug. 28–averaging 2.9 million total viewers in prime, 17% more than last summer.

The spike, in part from viewers tuning into originals including The Closer, Wanted, and limited series Into the West, helped the network beat The WB and UPN in broadcast prime (that’s comparing 8 p.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Sat. for TNT and 8 p.m. through 10 p.m. on The WB and UPN) with households, total viewers and adults 25-54.

And speaking of Spike, that cable net saw one of the biggest percentage spikes, up 63% to 1.6 million, behind only Headline News, up 99% to 413,000.

Fox continued to dominate in cable news, up 27% to 1.91 million, while CNN was down 18% to 716,000.
USA took second place for summer – cable’s high season for original programming – averaging 2.32 million total viewers in prime.
The network’s own originals, especially Monk, performed well this summer, but USA was still down 8% from last summer when its ratings were exceptionally boosted from limited series The 4400.

Disney Channel and Nick at Nite took the next two highest summer slots – Disney averaged 2.26 million total viewers in prime and Nick at Nite averaged 1.92 million (5% and 11% year over year gains, respectively).

Several other major cable networks saw notable wins this summer over last, including:

Lifetime – up 7% to an average 1.81 million total viewers in prime.
Spike – up 63% to 1.6 million.
MTV – up 10 % to 1.24 million.
AMC – up 25% to 1.13 million.
Hallmark Channel – up 38% to 1.0 million total viewers.

A few major cable networks saw dips:

Cartoon Network – down 8% to 1.58 million total viewers in prime.
TBS – down 5% to 1.66 million.
ESPN – down 12% to 1.31 million.
Sci Fi – down 4% to 1.2 million.
FX – down 7% to 1.18 million.
A&E – down 7% to 1.08 million.
Discovery Channel – down 19% to 978,000.

Among the news networks:

Fox News –  up 27% to an average 1.91 million total viewers in prime.
CNBC – down 12% to 1.32 million.
CNN – down 18% to 716,000.
Headline News – up 99% to 413,000.
MSNBC – down 19% to an average 310,000.