June 23, 2010 / 4:54 AM / 8 years ago

USA Network shines in summer ratings

NEW YORK (Mediaweek) - Although the solstice arrived only this week, USA Network has bobbed around in the summer surf for the past few weeks, soaking up the sun on the inflatable raft of its Thursday night lineup.

In the third week of the new season, the network’s “Burn Notice” and “Royal Pains” are sizzling. Bolstered by a guest arc from Henry Winkler, sophomore hit “Pains” on Thursday lured 5.5 million viewers to USA. As was the case a week ago, it beat “Burn” in total viewers and the core demographics of both adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. For its part, “Burn” averaged 5.3 million total viewers in its Thursday perch.

Overall, USA boasted four of the week’s top 10 most-watched programs on ad-supported cable during the week ending Sunday. “WWE Raw” scared up 4.9 million total viewers Monday, and a Wednesday “NCIS” rerun served up 4.4 million viewers. Also drawing a crowd to USA was the original series “In Plain Sight,” which airs the penultimate episode of its third (and perhaps final) season Wednesday. The Mary McCormack vehicle drew 4.1 million viewers at 10 p.m. last week, its best number since the Season 2 finale in August 2009 (4.4 million).

For the week, the network averaged 3.3 million total viewers, followed by TNT with 2.1 million. The Turner network drew its biggest crowd of the week with its third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season, averaging 4.5 million viewers Sunday.

Fox News Channel again claimed third place, drawing an average nightly audience of 1.9 million viewers. History (1.6 million) vaulted three spots to seize fourth place as unscripted hits “Pawn Stars” and “American Pickers” dominated the Monday lineup. Rounding out the top five was Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite (1.5 million).

Among the week’s biggest draws was the debut of TV Land’s original scripted comedy “Hot in Cleveland,” which captured 4.8 million viewers at 10 p.m. Wednesday. Anchored by a quartet of familiar faces — Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick — the sitcom gave TV Land its best deliveries in its 14-year history.

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