Record Summer Viewing Boosts USA, E!

USA Network continues to dominate summer cable TV, claiming the top new and returning shows among adults 18-49.


That’s the word from a summer ratings analysis released by Turner Wednesday.


The report also showed that — no surprise– cable continues to make gains while the broadcast networks slipped in ratings this summer.


The good news for programmers: Summer viewing reached record levels this year, with the average viewer spending 32.2 hours per week in front of the small screen. That’s up two-tenths vs. last summer, even though last year’s numbers included nearly three weeks of Olympics coverage.


As for specific networks and cable groups, NBC Universal could claim bragging rights with the No. 1 new show of the summer ("Royal Pains") and the top returning show ("Burn Notice") among adults 18-49. Bravo’s "Real Housewives of New Jersey" was the No. 2 new show, while "Real Housewives of Atlanta" was the No. 9 returning show in the demo.


E!’s light-and-fluffy approach to summer also paid off big time: The Comcast-owned cable network had two shows– "Kourtney & Khloe" and "Kendra"– in the list of top 10 new shows.


And among returning hits, TLC’s trainwreck "Jon and Kate Plus 8" was the No. 4 returning show among young adults, just below TNT’s megahit "The Closer" and ahead of big guns such as "Amy Wives."


Stats from the summer season below. The numbers represent adults 18-49 or viewers, in hundreds of thousands:

Top 10 New Shows (Adults 18-49)


Royal Pains (USA) 2973
Real Housewives (BRAVO)  1986
Hawthorne (TNT)   1559
Warehouse 13 (SYFY)   1542
Kourtney & Khloe (E!)   1524
Meet The Browns (TBS)   1514
Kendra (E!)   1507
Cake Boss (TLC) 1348
Drop Dead Diva (LIFE)   1321
Dark Blue (TNT)   1237

Top 10 Returning Shows (Adults 18-49)


Burn Notice S3 (USA)   3339
Deadliest Catch S5 (DISC) 2857
The Closer S5 (TNT) 2410
Jon & Kate Plus 8 (TLC)   2167
In Plain Sight S2 (USA)   2069
Next Food Star S5 (FOOD)  2018
Army Wives S3 (LIFE)   2008
Real Word/RR (MTV)   1862
Real Housewives  (BRAVO)  1838
Secret Life/American Teen (FAM) 1834

Top 10 Returning Shows (Viewers)


The Closer S5 (TNT)    7852
Burn Notice S3 (USA)   7677
Monk S8 (USA)   5556
In Plain Sight S2 (USA)   5109
Law & Order: CI S8 (USA)   4591
Psych S4 (USA)   4467
Deadliest Catch S5 (DISC)   4316
Army Wives S3 (LIFE)   4280
Leverage S2 (TNT) 4125
Next Food Star S5 (FOOD)  3962