USA's Ratings Roll Powered by Royal Pains


Despite a strong showing from TNT’s The Closer, USA Network retained its post at the head of the cable ratings race last week, averaging 3.35 million viewers.
For the week ended June 14, USA also swept the top three demos, averaging 1.49 million adults 25-54, 1.37 million viewers 18-49 and 568,000 18-34s.
USA’s stay at the top was powered by its newbie original drama Royal Pains, which drew 5.59 million viewers in its Thursday 10 p.m. time slot, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data. The second episode drew added around 20,000 viewers to its premiere tally, and showed similar gains among the demos, delivering 2.6 million adults 25-54 (up 3 percent) and 2.35 million viewers 18-49 (up 2 percent).

Royal lead-in Burn Notice declined 13 percent versus its season-three premiere, averaging 5.24 million viewers, and while the drop was noticeable, it also was less pronounced than the 15-20 percent drop most series experience in week two.

Burn Notice drew 2.43 million adults 25-54 and 2.17 million 18-49s, down 14 percent from last week’s demo deliveries.

USA also got a boost from a third original series, as In Plain Sight delivered 4.27 million viewers Sunday night at 10 p.m. The following night, WWE Raw scared up its usual big crowd, delivering 5.4 million viewers between 9 p.m. and 11:14 p.m.

After slipping to fourth place in the prior week, TNT surged back to the runner-up spot, thanks to the season-five premiere of The Closer, which on June 8 delivered 7.14 million viewers, making it ad-supported cable’s most-watched scripted series telecast of 2009. The Closer also out-delivered its season-four average among adults 18-49 (2.25 million) and adults 25-54 (2.94 million).

The Turner net averaged 2.24 million viewers on the week, while taking second among adults 25-54 (1.03 million) and viewers 18-49 (950,000). TNT took third among viewers 18-34, with an average delivery of 381,000 members of the younger demo.

While the NBA won’t return to TNT until this fall––the network enjoyed a five-week winning streak thanks to its coverage of the NBA Playoffs––Nascar remains a major sports draw. Last Sunday, TNT’s coverage of the Sprint Cup series delivered 5.12 million viewers between approximately 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and the post-race show averaged 5.53 million viewers.

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