USA Network grabs top cable ratings

MSNBC's USA-Canada hockey game drew 8.22 mil viewers

USA Network regained the lead in the cable ratings race, averaging 2.76 million total viewers during the week of Feb. 15-22.

Boosted by "WWE Raw," repeats of "NCIS" and its original series "Burn Notice," USA also won the two top demos, drawing 1.19 million adults 25-54 and 1.12 million viewers 18-49, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data.

USA's Monday night wrestling block was the third most-watched program on ad-supported cable, trailing only MSNBC's telecast of the USA-Canada Olympic hockey showdown and a 13-minute postgame show. MSNBC notched its best delivery ever, drawing 8.22 million viewers Sunday between 7:45 p.m. and 9:55 p.m. EST, while the wrap averaged 6.48 million viewers.

"Raw" delivered 4.96 million viewers in its 9 p.m.-11:06 p.m. slot, edging E!'s "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" finale, which drew 4.91 million viewers Sunday night.

"NCIS" accounted for five of ad-supported cable's most-viewed programs. Chief among these was Monday's installment, which delivered 4.72 million viewers at 7 p.m. "Burn Notice" also boosted USA's numbers, drawing 4.12 million viewers Thursday at 10 p.m.

After rebounding from an off week, USA's "Psych" dropped again, drawing 2.94 million viewers in its Wednesday 10 p.m. slot, a tumble of 18% from the 3.57 million viewers the show served up on Feb. 10. Seven days before that, "Psych" suffered its first major decline of the season, drawing 2.89 million viewers.

USA's third winter original, "White Collar," was on hiatus last week.

After winning the previous week with its NBA All-Star Weekend coverage, TNT eased back to second place with an average nightly draw of 1.97 million viewers. The Turner net took second among adults 25-54 (969,000) and third among the 18-49 set (925,000).

TNT posted its best numbers with Thursday night's Celtics-Lakers telecast (2.86 million) and the season finale of "Leverage" (2.85 million). The Timothy Hutton crime caper squares off with USA's "Psych" in the Wednesday 10 p.m. slot and returns for its third season this summer.

Fox News Channel held onto third place, edging Nick at Nite by some 10,000 viewers. FNC averaged 1.87 million viewers in primetime, of which 442,000 were members of the core news demo.

Nick at Nite got a lift from its original animated series "The Penguins of Madagascar," which delivered 4.6 million viewers Monday at 8 p.m.

TBS closed out the top five with an averaged draw of 1.54 million total viewers while winning the 18-34 demo outright with 566,000. TBS also took second place with viewers 18-49, averaging 936,000.
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