Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard

NBA playoffs dominated the top five spots led by Sunday night’s Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic matchup on TNT.  WWE RAW was pushed down to the sixth and seventh spots for the week, followed by NCIS and SpongeBob.

A couple of things to keep in mind.  These are the ratings for the week ending Sunday, May 24 so the eye-popping numbers for the return of Jon & Kate Plus 8 on TLC on May 25 will not show up until next week, when barring basketball magic, it will easily top the list for the week ending 5/31.

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, USA did not run new episodes of In Plain Sight and Law & Order: CI on Sunday night.

Twenty-nine episodes of NCIS averaged over two million.  I did not list anything outside of the six that appeared in the top twenty, but USA Network is getting a lot of mileage out of NCIS.

There is no TVbytheNumbers conspiracy against premium cable networks like HBO and Showtime, in fact, they are two of my favorite channels and I just finished up season two of In Treatment on HBO which showcased some outstanding writing and acting.

The reason we don’t post any numbers for those networks in these lists is because unless they appear in the top forty (which basically hasn’t happened since The Sopranos went dark), we don’t see them.  If we regularly saw them, we’d regularly post them.  But  TV Week, Broadcasting & Cable, USA Today and THR will frequently post them so in a few weeks when you’re looking to see how True Blood did, those would be some good sites to keep your eyes on.

Update for fans of Cartoon Network (via Cartoon Network):

Cartoon Network’s Memorial Day weekend marathon featuring back-to-back episodes of Total Drama Island (Sunday, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.) earned double-digit increases among several key demos compared to the same week last year.   Overall kids 2-11 delivery (513,000) grew by 20%, kids 6-11 delivery (404,000) by 33% and kids 9-14 (348,000) by 47%.  Total Drama Island is the popular animated reality series that follows a group of spirited teen competing for a $100,000 grand prize.

Top twenty cable network television shows for the week ending May 24, 2009:

Rank Shows NET DAY Time Viewers Live+SD (000)
1 CAVALIERS/MAGIC TNT Sun 08:36P-11:45P 8969
2 NUGGETS/LAKERS ESPN Tue 08:57P-11:55P 8085
3 NUGGETS/LAKERS ESPN Thu 08:56P-11:56P 7886
4 MAGIC/CAVALIERS TNT Wed 08:36P-11:34P 7321
5 MAGIC/CAVALIERS TNT Fri 08:35P-11:41P 6910
6 WWE ENTERTAINMENT USA Mon 10:00P-11:06P 5200
7 WWE ENTERTAINMENT USA Mon 09:00P-10:00P 5032
8 NCIS USA Sat 10:00P-11:00P 4151
9 SPONGEBOB NICK Sat 11:30A-12:00P 3917
10 NCIS USA Mon 07:00P-08:00P 3911
11 NCIS USA Mon 08:00P-09:00P 3911
12 SPONGEBOB NICK Sat 12:00P-12:30P 3826
13 NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM FX Sun 09:00P-11:30P 3715
14 NCIS USA Sat 08:00P-09:00P 3674
15 NCIS USA Fri 07:00P-08:00P 3653
16 SPONGEBOB NICK Sat 11:00A-11:30A 3653
18 NCIS USA Sat 09:00P-10:00P 3557
19 INSIDE THE NBA PLAYOFFS TNT Wed 11:34P-12:10A 3504
20 SPORTSCENTER LATE L ESPN Thu 11:56P-01:00A 3474
Other shows (based on request order, not ranked or sorted)
ICARLY NICK Thu 06:30P-07:00P 3144
CARS DSNY Sun 12:00P-02:05P 3071
FAMILY GUY ADSM Mon 11:30P-12:00A 2819
NED DECLASSIFIED NICK Thu 08:00P-08:30P 2673
FAIRLY ODD PARENTS NICK Sun 08:30A-09:00A 2657
BACK AT THE BARNYARD NICK Sat 08:30A-09:00A 2642
HOUSE USA Sun 10:00P-11:00P 2622
NBA DRAFT LOTTERY L ESPN Tue 08:30P-08:57P 2565
DEADLIEST CATCH DISC Tue 09:00P-10:01P 2550
LAW & ORDER TNT Mon 09:00P-10:00P 2376
S PHINEAS & FERB DSNY Sun 11:30A-12:00P 2292
HILLS, THE MTV Mon 10:00P-10:30P 2232
GEORGE LOPEZ NAN Fri 10:30P-11:00P 2230
HOUSE HUNTERS INTL HGTV Sun 09:30P-10:00P 1985
CHARM SCHOOL 3 VH1 Mon 09:00P-10:00P 1893
AX MEN HIST Mon 10:00P-11:00P 1861
DEADLIEST WARRIOR SPK Tue 10:00P-11:00P 1816
OPERATION REPO TRU Mon 10:00P-10:30P 1789
NEW YORK GOES TO WORK VH1 Mon 10:00P-10:30P 1774
POLAR STORM SCIF Sun 09:00P-11:00P 1729
CAROL-PITTS VS Thu 07:30P-10:25P 1725
CHICA-DETRO VS Tue 07:30P-10:29P 1717
RESCUE ME FX Tue 10:00P-11:01P 1650
MYTHBUSTERS DISC Wed 09:00P-10:00P 1632
ECW SCIF Tue 10:00P-11:05P 1404
PARANORMAL STATE A&E Mon 10:00P-11:00P 1524
TNA: IMPACT SPK Thu 09:00P-11:00P 1522
DAILY SHOW CMDY Mon 10:59P-11:30P 1516
RW/RR THE DUEL 2 MTV Wed 10:00P-11:00P 1501
REAL HSWIVES OF NJ BRAV Tue 10:00P-11:00P 1489
JON & KATE PLUS 8 TLC Sun 10:00P-11:00P 1410
LIFE AFTER PEOPLE HIST Tue 10:00P-11:00P 1400
DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES FOOD Mon 10:30P-11:00P 1312
BONANZA TVLD Mon 03:06P-04:11P 1175
LARRY KING LIVE CNN Fri 09:00P-10:00P 1128
DAISY OF LOVE VH1 Sun 12:00P-01:00P 1100
COLLEGE LIFE MTV Mon 10:30P-11:00P 960
CHELSEA LATELY EN Thu 11:00P-11:30P 905
THE SOUP EN Fri 10:00P-10:30P 796
GREEK FAM Mon 08:00P-09:00P 680
SNAPPED OXYG Sat 11:30A-12:00P 494
HANEY PROJECT GOLF Mon 10:00P-10:30P 346

Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved

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