Bravo's reality show posts its best-ever ratings

“Project Runway” closed out what could be its Bravo finale in style Wednesday, wrapping up its fifth season with the network’s biggest-ever ratings.

The 9 p.m. telecast averaged 4.8 million total viewers and 3.2 million adults 18-49, also making it cable’s top-rated original program on an evening that included presidential debate coverage.

That was down from the finales for seasons three and four, but “Project Runway 5″ still wound up overall as the show’s highest-rated edition.

Other cable ratings highlights for the week include the episode three perf of new MTV series “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF,” which averaged a 1.6 in its target demo of persons 12-34, a 23% uptick over its episode two average.

“BFF” ranked No. 1 among all cable competish in its Tuesday 10 p.m. slot in the 12-34 demo, and was the No. 2 program for the full day, just behind Fox’s “House,” with women 18-24.

As for “Runway,” factoring in an 11 p.m. encore run, the fashion-themed reality-competish skein — which crowned contestant Leanne Marshall winner of season five — totaled a cumulative aud of 7.2 million viewers and 4.8 million adults 18-49.

For the season, series averaged 3.6 million total viewers and 2.4 million adults 18-49, making season five “Runway’s” most successful campaign.

The big finale occurred on the same day that lawyers for series producer the Weinstein Co. and Bravo parent NBC Universal were due back in a Manhattan court to outline the next phase of a legal tussle that will determine whether “Runway” will move to Lifetime for season six. Late last month, New York Supreme Court Judge Richard Lowe granted NBC U’s request for an injunction, stopping the Weinstein Co.’s planned move of the series.

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