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HBO’s afire with ‘Wire’

Cop drama boosted by good showing from 'Sex' lead-in

HBO sniffed out a stellar Sunday in the ratings.

Season finale of “The Wire” at 9:30 p.m. strung in a series-best 4.5 million total viewers and posted a 2.2 national rating/6 share in the key 18-49 demo.

Hourlong cop drama received a boost from an impressive showing from its “Sex and the City” lead-in. Sarah Jessica Parker and co. attracted 6.9 million total and averaged a 3.9/11 in 18-49.

Finale of “Project Greenlight,” however, pulled in a so-so 2.6 million.

Meanwhile, Friday’s season-ending seg of detective dramedy “Monk” sniffed out 4.4 million viewers and a 1.4/5 in 18-49. Finale ranks as the second highest rated episode in the series, behind only the season two premiere.

“Monk,” starring Tony Shalhoub, remains basic cable’s most-watched scripted skein.

Elsewhere on cable’s Sunday primetime:

Comedy Central’s “The Man Show” saw an uptick for episode two with new hosts Joe Rogan and Doug Stanhope, delivering a 1.2 in 18-49 (up 1.1 from last week’s season premiere) and 1.7 million viewers.

Bravo’s Lucy-Desi special “The Desilu Story: The Rags to Riches Success of the Desilu Empire” drew a disappointing 494,000 total viewers, well below the cabler’s primetime average for the week (600,000).

Roughly 730,000 viewers tuned in for Spike TV’s Animal House doc “Unseen & Untold: Animal House.”

And VH1’s inaugural seg of its “Inside Out” series, highlighting singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, drew 518,000.