Cheers for 'HSM2' encores

1st repeat tops in slot; 'Truckers' hot

The encore airings of Disney Channel's original movie "High School Musical 2" continued to score for the network, while Showtime's new comedy "Californication" grew in its second week and History Channel's "Ice Road Truckers" ended its first season with a bang.

"HSM2," which averaged 17.2 million total viewers in its premiere at 8-10 p.m. Friday, averaged 8.4 million viewers in its first encore airing at 8 p.m. Saturday night — beating all TV competition in its time period — while the second encore at 8 p.m. Sunday drew 7.5 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Saturday's airing ranks as Disney's fourth-most-watched telecast ever, while Sunday's comes in at No. 9.

"HSM2" also boosted Disney Channel to become the No. 3 network overall in primetime — among broadcast and cable — in total viewers for the week ending Aug. 19 (5.8 million, beating NBC, ABC and the CW) and the No. 1 basic cable network in primetime for a sixth consecutive week, generating the second-largest weekly audience for any cable network on record.

"HSM2" next airs at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Meanwhile, History's "Truckers" averaged 4.8 million viewers in its Season 1 finale at 10 p.m. Sunday, giving the network its most-watched telecast ever in total viewers and the key adult demos of 25-54 (3.1 million) and 18-49 (2.8 million).

The first season of "Truckers" averaged 3.2 million viewers, including 2 million in 25-54 and 1.8 million in 18-49.

At Showtime, "Californication," starring David Duchovny, showed a 24% improvement in total viewers in its second week on the air. The 10:30 p.m. Monday episode averaged 684,000 total viewers, up 24% from last week's 550,000 average.

In other cable ratings news, a new episode of E! Entertainment Television's "The Girls Next Door" averaged more than 1.2 million total viewers at 10 p.m. Sunday, more than doubling the network's third-quarter primetime average. The current season is up 14% over last season among households.