USA Cleans Up with Monk, Dead Zone


USA Network continued its streak of summer ratings wins last week, once again ranking as cable's top-rated ad supported network.

USA lured an average 2.4 million viewers in prime for the week of Aug. 16 to Aug. 22, according to Nielsen data. USA's detective drama Monk nabbed 5.87 million viewers Aug. 20 and thriller series The Dead Zone delivered 3.45 million viewers Aug. 22.

The week's most-watched cable program -- NASCAR's Aug. 20 Nextel Cup Michigan race -- belonged to TNT, with 6.2 million viewers. TNT finished the week as cable's third-placed network overall with 2.04 million viewers. The Disney Channel delivered a slightly larger crowd, with an average 2.06 million viewers in prime.

Rounding out the top ten were Cartoon Network (1.86 million viewers); Nick at Nite (1.76 million viewers); Lifetime (1.68 million viewers); ESPN (1.66 million viewers); TBS (1.35 million viewers); Discovery Channel (1.28 million viewers); and Sci Fi Channel (1.27 million viewers).

Cartoon Network grabbed big numbers for off-nets Futurama and Family Guy.  Both shows air in Cartoon's late night Adult Swim. On Aug. 19, Futurama notched 3.28 million viewers and an Aug. 16 play of Family Guy attracted 3.29 million. The animated comedies were cable's most-watched off-network shows last week, edging out TNT's Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on USA.

Cartoon's newest original series Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, about a retirement home for kids' forgotten imaginary pals, earned strong marks for its second episode Aug. 20, when 2.2 million viewers tuned in.