Cable's big summer shows are nearing their respective zeniths -- as a number of series have had their season-enders.
For the week ending August 23, most of the same players are at the top of the charts --- with TNT's "The Closer" just ahead of its sister rookie TNT drama, "Rizzoli & Isles."
"The Closer" clocked in with 7.05 million total viewers to "Isles" 6.7 million. Both shows were up versus the previous week, in which "Closer" had 6.8 million viewers and "Isles" was at 6.5 million.
USA Network season-enders for that network's two big hitters, "Burn Notice" and "Royal Pains," moved into the third- and fourth-place positions, at 6.3 million and 6.1 million, respectively.
Although TNT typically grabs more total viewers, USA Network's shows regularly take top honors in the key 18-49 rating race, still crucial to TV marketers. Last week, "Burn Notice" had the best tally of any cable show.
In total viewers, "Notice" was at 5.5 million and "Pains" at 5.3 million from the week before. USA's rookie show "Covert Affairs" climbed into fifth place from ninth place with 5.9 million viewers, up from 5.4 million.
MTV's "Jersey Shore" remained in sixth place, week-to-week. But like the other big cable shows it also grew -- to 5.8 million from 5.5 million. "Shore" also gets big marks when it comes to its younger 18-49 and 18-34 viewers.
Two ESPN NFL pre-season games grabbed the seventh and ninth positions. The Indianapolis Colts-Green Bay Packers scored the best, with 5.7 million viewers. The Arizona Cardinals-Tennessee Titans game drew 5.0 million.
HBO's "True Blood" continued its thirst for viewers, up to a best 5.44 million from 5.36 million the week before -- good for eighth place.
USA's "WWE Raw" slammed down its 10th place spot with 4.9 million viewers.
As far as broadcast network reruns are concerned, USA continues to have the best performer: Two top 20 spots for "NCIS" gave the show some 3.8 million viewers each.