[06/08/07 - 07:14 PM]
Cable Ratings Round-Up (Week of May 28-June 3): 'Sopranos,' Nba Playoffs Top the Charts
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The penultimate episode of "The Sopranos" (8.0 million, #1) was last week's top cable draw while NBA playoff coverage powered TNT and ESPN.

TNT nabbed no less than six of the top 15 slots last week thanks to its Pistons/Cavaliers coverage on Saturday (7.4 million, #2), the Pistons/Cavaliers pre-game that same night (5.7 million, #3), the Cavaliers/Pistons games on Thursday (5.6 million, #4), Saturday (4.9 million, #7) and Thursday (4.7 million, #8) and a "Law & Order" repeat on Monday night at 9:00/8:00c (3.6 million, #T13).

ESPN then snagged three spots with the Spurs/Jazz showdowns on Monday (4.6 million, #9) and Wednesday (4.0 million, #12) as well as its MLB coverage of the Yankees/Red Sox on Sunday (5.3 million, #6).

Usually dominant USA also fared with the launch of "The Starter Wife" on Thursday (5.4 million, #5) as well as its mainstay "WWE Raw" (4.5 million, #T10; 9:00 & 10:00). In addition, "Wife" drew 2.9 million adults 18-49 and 2.8 million adults 25-54, the best start for any USA original since "The 4400."

Meanwhile, Lifetime saw its newcomer "Army Wives" open to the tune of 3.5 million viewers (#15) on Sunday, making it the most-watched series premiere in the network's 23-year history. Said numbers beat out previous record holders "Missing" (3.3 million viewers in 2003) and "The Division" (3.2 million in 2001). Among Lifetime's target demographics, "Wives" averaged a 2.1 rating (1.2 million viewers) in women 18-49 (the highest for any broadcast in the time period in more than three years) and a 1.8 rating (502,000 viewers) among women 18-34. And if that wasn't enough, "Wives" also built off its lead-in, the Kirstie Alley-led original movie "Write & Wrong" (2.6 million viewers).

Rounding out the top 15 then was the "MTV Movie Awards" on Sunday (3.6 million, #T13), which was up from last year's 10-year low of 3.2 million. The special also drew 2.6 million viewers ages 12-34 (MTV's target demographic), likewise up 10% from last year's numbers.

Outside the leaderboard, The History Channel saw 3.1 million viewers tune into Monday's two-hour special "Star Wars: Legacy Revealed." The broadcast also marked the network's most-watched original telecast of all time in adults 25-54 (1.8 million) and its most-watched telecast ever in 18-49 (1.7 million). The following night, a series record 1.6 million viewers (including 777,000 adults 18-49 and 796,000 adults 25-54) tuned into the premiere of "The Universe."

And finally, the season finale of Bravo's "Shear Genius" on Wednesday hit a series high of 1.3 million viewers, including 859,000 adults 18-49 and 816,000 adults 25-54.

  [june 2007]  

· 4400, THE (USA)

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