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USA Kicks Off Summer With Weekly Ratings Win

USA Network began the 2011 summer cable season in a familiar position: atop the weekly primetime ratings charts. 

The "Characters Welcome" network, which has won cable's summer ratings race for the last three years, topped all basic cable networks in primetime for the week of May 30 to June 7 with 3 million viewers, according to an Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data.

Disney Channel finished second with 2.4 million viewers, followed by History (2.2 million), TNT (1.8 million) and Fox News and FX (tied with 1.5 million).

AMC and Discovery Channel (tied with 1.4 million); A&E Network (1.3 million) and Adult Swim (1.2 million) round out the top 10.

Nickelodeon was tops on a 24-hour basis, followed by Disney Channel (1.7 million); USA Network and Adult Swim (tied at 1.4 million) and Nick At Nite (1.2 million).

History's mega hit reality series Pawn Stars ruled the list of most-watched shows for the week, capturing the top two spots. The June 1 episode of the series drew 5.2 million viewers, while a 5/30 episode averaged 5.1 million viewers.

The 2011 MTV Movie Awards was the top choice among viewers 18-48 and 25-54, according to Nielsen.

Most Watched Cable Shows For The Week*

1    6/1    Pawn Stars                               5.2 million
2   5/30  Pawn Stars                               5.1 million
3   6/4     SpongeBob Squarepants      5.0 million
4   5/30   WWE Entertainment               4.8 million
5   5/30   WWE Entertainment               4.5 million
6   6/5     2011 MTV Movie Awards        4.5 million
7   6/4     Spongebob Squarepants      4.3 million
8   6/1      American Pickers                    4.2 million
9   6/4     Spongebob Squarepants      4.2 million
106/4    Spongebob Squarepants         4.1 million

*Week of May 30 to June 5

Source: Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data.