Cable's summer of love

Sector's power growing as b'cast numbers wane

By Kimberly Nordyke
The Hollywood Reporter
Aug 23, 2007

It's been a summer to remember for basic cable. Several cable programs have set record highs --
most recently exemplified by the Disney Channel original movie "High School Musical 2."
"Saving Grace"

It's been a summer to remember for basic cable.

Ad-supported cable networks collectively are outperforming the six broadcast networks this summer in the adults 18-49 demographic by more than 2-to-1, the largest margin ever, according to Turner Research data released Wednesday.

Ad-supported cable nets -- a group that includes most basic cable outlets with a few exceptions like Disney Channel -- collectively are averaging a 52.4 share in the demo this summer, compared with broadcast's 24.2 share.

Several cable programs have set record highs this summer -- most recently exemplified by the Disney Channel original movie "High School Musical 2," which averaged 17.2 million total viewers in its premiere Friday to become the most-watched basic cable telecast ever -- while broadcast shows are slipping.
Among all basic cable networks, Disney leads the summer in primetime with 3.1 million total viewers, followed by USA (2.8 million), TNT (2.5 million), TBS (1.7 million) and Lifetime (1.6 million). The top three cable networks are all outperforming broadcast network the CW (1.9 million).
The most-watched basic cable telecasts of the summer are "Musical 2," followed by the movie's lead-out, a sneak peek of the upcoming animated series "Phineas and Ferb," which averaged 10.8 million. Friday's episode of "Hannah Montana" on Disney (10.7 million), the June 18 season opener of "The Closer" (9.5 million) and an encore airing of "Musical 2" (8.4 million) round out the top five.
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