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Nielsen Ratings Cable TV Top 20: The Closer Crushes Competition...Again

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August 12th, 2008

TNT's The Closer again dominated the cable viewing universe, having over 2.5 million viewers more than its nearest competitor, WWE Raw. TNT's Saving Grace was actually ranked second based on a household ratings basis, but slipped to third when it comes to viewers because more people per household and/or screen watch WWE Raw.

For those of you wondering, "what the @#&! was NBC Universal thinking airing new episodes of Monk and Psych up against its own Olympic coverage on the mother ship at NBC," these results aren't going to make you stop wondering. Monk still at least made the top 20 (at #19) but shed almost a million viewers from last week, when it was the ninth ranked show. Psych, which last week had a 2.7 rating and 4.3 million viewers to take the tenth spot didn't even make the top 40 this week (all we can conclude from that really is that it had a 2.2 rating or worse but got squeezed out of the top 40).

Update: Psych apparently did 3.4 million according to USA Today. They either get much more data than we do (very likely) or they get a list that doesn't include programming for kids. Either way, USA Today's list is sans SpongeBob, Disney, and cartoons in reruns on Adult Swim, and then sorted by viewers.

Perhaps not even NBC thought its opening ceremonies would do so well. Other usual suspects and some of my favorites on USA scored well as usual, even in the face of Olympic competition so maybe they figured the same would happen for Monk and Psych. Kudos to Law & Order: CI, In Plain Sight and Lifetime's Army Wives which ran directly against the most-watched night of Olympics coverage on NBC so far (Sunday) an still held up reasonably well. Also notable is Secret Life of an American Teenager on ABC Family taking the 10th spot with over 4 million viewers and TBS' House of Payne at number twelve with almost 3.8 million.

Some of you ask, "hey, if you get the frakking data for 40 shows, why not just post it all!" I wish it were that simple, but Nielsen says we can't post tables of more than 20, and we'd like to keep seeing the data, so there you have it.

But not in the list but among the top 40, besides an additional 12 SpongeBob airings there were three Family Guy arings on Adult Swim, three airings of Drake and Josh on Nick, Project Runway (#25) on Bravo, and Army Wives, which was #30 with 3.4 million viewers.

Other than that, we don't know how your favorite shows did, sorry. Any data I see about ratings for cable shows that didn't make the top 40, I always include in the link list (lower right-hand portion of this site under "Seidman's Reading", or you can access directly here).

Full Top 20 Cable Results for the week ending 08/10/2008:

Rank Shows NET DAY(S) Live+SD HH Rating Viewers Live+SD (000)
1 CLOSER, THE TNT MONDAY 5.2 7,863
2 WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE Raw) USA MONDAY 3.0 5,201
3 SAVING GRACE TNT MONDAY 3.5 4,937
4 WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE Raw) USA MONDAY 2.8 4,923
5 NASCAR SPRINT CUP (WATKINS GLEN, NY) L ESPN SUNDAY 3.0 4,828
6 Burn Notice USA THURSDAY 3.1 4,558
7 FINDING NEMO DSNY MONDAY 2.5 4,324
8 IN PLAIN SIGHT USA SUNDAY 2.7 4,177
9 LAW & ORDER: CI (ORIG) USA SUNDAY 2.9 4,164
10 SECRET LIFE/AMERICAN TEEN FAM TUESDAY 2.6 4,092
11 SpongeBob NICK TUESDAY 2.4 3,826
12 HOUSE OF PAYNE TBSC WEDNESDAY 2.3 3,797
13 SpongeBob NICK TUESDAY 2.3 3,772
14 SPONGEBOB NICK MONDAY 2.3 3,749
15 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE DSNY SUNDAY 2.3 3,747
16 SPONGEBOB NICK MONDAY 2.3 3,727
17 SPONGEBOB NICK SATURDAY 2.4 3,654
18 NFL PRE-SEASON FOOTBALL L (SAINTS/CARDINALS) ESPN THURSDAY 2.4 3,652
19 MONK USA FRIDAY 2.3 3,624
20 SPONGEBOB NICK FRIDAY 2.3 3,619

Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved

 
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