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Auds see ‘Red,’ boost TBS

Cabler rides 'Water,' 'Sea' to big ratings

NEW YORK — Sharks in mid-August usually give the Discovery Channel, home to the annual Shark Week programming stunt, a big lift in cable ratings.

But shark-infested “Red Water,” an original made-for actioner on TBS Sunday, devoured more viewers than any other movie on cable this year in the key demo categories: adults 18 to 34, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54. The 6.9 million total viewers that watched it helped propel TBS to No. 1 in primetime for the week (Aug. 11-17) in total viewers and in the three adult categories.

TBS also scored big with the two highest-rated theatrical movies of the week, “Men in Black,” good for 11th place overall (with 3.81 million total viewers), and “Deep Blue Sea” (about a genetically engineered shark) in 12th place (with 3.80 million).

It was also a solid week for TBS’ sister network TNT, which wound up second in all four of basic cable’s primetime benchmarks. TNT’s numbers came from a bunch of “Law & Order” repeats on Monday and Tuesday and three separate runs of “Pretty Woman,” the 1990 theatrical that pulls in masses of TV viewers every it’s skedded.

TNT also delivered the highest-rated sports event of the week, the Michigan 400 Nascar race, which flagged down 6.23 million viewers Sunday afternoon, the second-most-watched show of the week.

None of Discovery’s primetime shark specials finished among the top-50-rated individual programs, but its two-hour primetime docu special “Nefertiti Revisited” harvested 5.5 million viewers Sunday, the third-most-watched show of the week. The docu catapulted Discovery to an unaccustomed third place in primetime for the week among adults 18 to 49 and adults 18 to 34.

An ESPN pro football exhibition game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints on Monday wound up in the top 10 for the week, sacking 4.2 million viewers. By contrast, ESPN’s Buffalo Bills-Tennessee Titans exhibition game Saturday managed only 2.87 million, finishing 37th for the week.

Three original episodes of scripted series made it into the top 50 for the week: USA’s “Monk” (3.99 million, ninth place), FX’s “Nip/Tuck” (3.3 million, 21st) and USA’s “Peacemakers” (2.75 million).

Bravo’s runaway hit “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” made its mark among adults 18 to 49 (1.66 million, 17th place) and adults 18 to 34 (800,000, 20th).