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Nielsen Ratings Cable TV Top 20: The Closer, NASCAR, WWE RAW and Monk Take Top Honors

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August 19th, 2008

Full Top 20 Cable Results for the week ending 08/17/2008:

Rank Shows NET DAY(S) Live+SD HH rating Viewers Live+SD (000)
1 CLOSER, THE TNT MONDAY 4.3 6,419
2 NASCAR SPRINT CUP L (MICHIGAN) ESPN SUNDAY 3.3 5,300
3 NATIONWIDE POST RACE L ESPN SUNDAY 3.1 5,037
4 WWE Entertainment (WWE Raw) USA MONDAY 2.7 4,812
5 MONK USA FRIDAY 2.9 4,654
6 LAW & ORDER: CI (ORIG) USA SUNDAY 3.2 4,644
7 WWE Entertainment (WWE Raw) USA MONDAY 2.5 4,533
8 SpongeBob NICK SATURDAY 2.8 4,483
9 NFL PRE-SEASON FOOTBALL L (BENGALS/PACKERS) ESPN MONDAY 2.8 4,143
10 SpongeBob NICK SATURDAY 2.6 3,999
11 Burn Notice USA THURSDAY 2.7 3,881
12 SpongeBob NICK SATURDAY 2.5 3,861
13 SpongeBob NICK WEDNESDAY 2.4 3,848
14 SPONGEBOB NICK TUESDAY 2.2 3,801
15 IN PLAIN SIGHT USA SUNDAY 2.8 3,780
16 SECRET LIFE/AMERICAN TEEN FAM TUESDAY 2.3 3,704
17 Psych USA FRIDAY 2.2 3,660
18 SPONGEBOB NICK WEDNESDAY 2.2 3,646
19 BACK AT THE BARNYARD NICK SUNDAY 2.2 3,621
20 SPONGEBOB NICK SUNDAY 2.3 3,593

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

Up against Olympics coverage on NBC last Monday, The Closer took an 18% hit versus the previous week when it did not face-off with the Olympics, but even still it was the most watched cable show of the week. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing and post-race coverage took the second and third spots with WWE RawMonk coming in fourth. rounded out the Top 5.

In Plain Sight took a bigger hit the second Sunday of Olympic coverage than the first, down about 10% from last week. Law & Order: CI was actually up week over week on Sunday, but we ascribe that, as ever, to the Goran/Eames team having better ratings Mojo than the Logan/Wheeler team.  Whoops. Got that wrong,  Turns out that was wrong, and rather that it was the swan-swong appearance of Chris Noth as Detective Logan that drew the better ratings.  Thanks to commenter stefanl (who definitely knows more about CI than I do -- and won are Law & Order: CI giveaway to boot!).

Burn Notice also took a haircut up against the Olympics, losing around 15% of its viewers from the previous week. SpongeBob took seven of the top twenty slots, and nineteen out of the top 40.

Notably, while both Monk and Psych suffered somewhat versus the opening ceremonies, they performed better the second Friday of Olympic coverage. Notably, the Friday Olympic coverage on NBC was the lowest rated of all seven days of Olympic coverage last week.

The Monk and Psych effect? Perhaps, but USA is in the NBC Universal family so they'll get over it.

Secret Life of an American Teen continued to perform well for ABC Family reaching 3.7 million last Tuesday. Nick's Back in the Barnyard made the top twenty at #19.

Saving Grace was actually number fifteen based on household rating but fell to number 23 when ranked by total viewers. Similarly, Army Wives was number twelve by household rating but fell to number 24 when ranked by viewers. Project Runway was #25 by household rating and #31 by viewers. A re-airing of High School Musical 2 on Disney made the top 40 at #24 and an airing of Hannah Montana, another airing of Back at the Barnyard and a whole lot of SpongeBob rounded out the top forty.

Please remember the only reason we don't publish all forty shows is because Nielsen limits us to lists of 20. Sorry.

 
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