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USA originals leads cablers to Nielsens high

'4400,' 'Zone,' 'Monk' take top three spots

HOLLYWOOD — As the Olympics near, cable networks are pulling out all the stops and scoring some big Nielsens with original fare.

USA claimed the top three basic-cable spots in total viewers last week with Sunday’s finale of “The 4400” and new episodes of “Monk” and “The Dead Zone.”

Final installment of “4400” notched a 2.3/6 in 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers overall, while “Dead Zone” posted a 2.0/6 and 4.6 million. Fresh seg of “Monk” reached season highs Friday (1.7/6, 5.8 million).

Strength of those skeins vaulted USA to a first-place 0.95 national rating in 18-49, putting it on par with broadcast web the WB (1.0). TBS ranked second in the demo. USA averaged a 1.15 rating in 25-54 and 2.9 million total viewers.

‘Cruise’ control

Elsewhere on cable, Disney Channel made a splash with the premiere of “Tiger Cruise,” an original movie set against the backdrop of 9/11, starring Bill Pullman. Telepic did a 26 share in female teens and 3.8 million viewers overall.

FX hour “Nip/Tuck” hit a season high in 18-49 (2.2/6), while “Rescue Me” drew its lowest tally to-date (1.4/4).

And VH1 plucked a little more than 1 million viewers (and a 0.5/2 in 18-49) for Friday’s bow of Michael Jackson biopic “Man in the Mirror.”

Earlier this week “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” grabbed its largest Monday aud ever (1.9 million viewers) with guest Bill Clinton. Lead-in, a repeat of WB series “Blue Collar TV,” topped it with 2.6 million.

TNT terrorism drama “The Grid” wrapped its run to 0.7/2 in 18-49 (2.2 million overall). Six-part series overall averaged 1.2 million viewers in 18-49 (and 3.2 million total).

A&E’s “Growing Up Gotti” delivered a healthy 2.6 million viewers (down from 3.2 million) in its second week.

(Rick Kissell contributed to this report.)

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