Cable Ratings: 'Closer', 'Raw' Grab Top Spots
TNT's "The Closer" proved to be the big hitter again this week among all cable shows -- and then some.
The police drama climbed 6% in total viewers - 360,000 -- to 7.31 million for its original airing on its Monday night 9 p.m. time slot.
WWE Entertainment's "Monday Night Raw" at 10 p.m. Monday show, which airs on USA, also gained some ground -- at around 150,000 viewers, to 5.90 million viewers from 5.75 million the week before. It landed in second place, 1.4 million viewers behind "Closer."
Running against "The Closer" in the Monday 9 p.m. time slot was another "Raw" program. It slipped a bit, at 5.16 million viewers -- down from 5.24 million the week before. The show continued to rank sixth among all cable shows.
That said, "The Closer" and "Raw" continue to appeal to distinct audiences that doesn't impact either's performance -- "The Closer" targets an older, more female crowd, and "Raw" aims for young and male.
For another week, ESPN's "NASCAR Sprint Cup" series continues to post healthy results -- landing at 5.32 million viewers, down somewhat from its 5.62 number the week before. It came in fourth place among all cable shows.
Two USA Network shows -- "Royal Pains" and "Monk" -- slipped some versus the week before, although they maintained their respective high rankings. "Pains" dropped to 5.32 million from 5.56 million for third place among all cable shows. "Monk" dipped to 5.16 million from 5.31 million, good for fifth place.
USA didn't have new episodes of its well-rated "Burn Notice," "In Plain Sight" or "Law & Order Criminal Intent."
Pay TV network HBO continues to score with its "True Blood" drama, with preliminary results expected to get into the 5 million-plus range. The week before. it was at 4.46 million, in ninth place overall.
Lifetime's premiere of "Project Runway" took 10th place 4.23 million viewers.
Disney Channel's "The Suite Life on Deck" picked up the pace as well -- climbinb to 4.31 million from 4.14 million and coming in ninth place this week. Disney had three shows in the top 20 -- the other two were "Hannah Montana" (4.07 million, 12th place) and "The Wizards of Waverly Place" (3.95 million, 14th place).
ESPN also grabbed seventh and eighth place with a high-profile Major League Baseball game, New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox, and a NFL pre-season game, Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants. Those sports contests took in 4.58 million and 4.56 million viewers, respectively.
Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company