NEW YORK (AP) — During some perilous times for the cable news networks, CNN is relieved to find there's still some resonance to the 1960s.
The first of a series of look-backs at the decade that CNN is planning to air, this one focused on television, reached 1.39 million viewers Thursday, the Nielsen company said. That more than doubled the 493,000 viewers the network has been averaging in the 9 p.m. weeknight time slot this year. CNN repeated the show immediately at 10 p.m., and that also more than doubled the time slot's average.
CNN repeated the show four times over the weekend.
The good vibes didn't last, however. On Friday, CNN had 182,000 viewers at 10 p.m. for a profile on Seth MacFarlane and a sports show, the network's smallest audience for the time slot since 2000.
Except for a brief flurry of interest with the story of the missing Malaysian airlines, it has been a rough year for the cable networks. There were several negative milestones in May: Fox News Channel had its lowest full-day viewership in the key news demographic of viewers aged 25 to 54 since 2001, and MSNBC had its lowest full-day viewership among all ages since 2007.
"The Sixties" is an important test for the direction new CNN boss Jeff Zucker is taking to try and boost ratings, with an increased emphasis on taped nonfiction programming.
In prime time this past week, HBO's "Game of Thrones" had its second-biggest audience ever on Sunday night, reaching 7.2 million viewers, Nielsen said.
Broadcast networks are beginning to mix in some new summer programming. The best showing last week was NBC's medical drama, "The Night Shift," which landed in the week's top 10 with its premiere episode. Meanwhile, Fox's reality series enticing women to date a Prince Harry impersonator is a failure, reaching 1.1 million viewers last week.
CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 5.5 million viewers. NBC had 5.2 million, ABC had 4.1 million, Fox had 3 million, Univision had 2.7 million, Telemundo had 1.5 million, ION Television had 1.1 million and the CW had 1 million.
ESPN was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 3.14 million viewers in prime time. TNT had 3.04 million, History had 2.35 million, USA had 1.79 million and the Disney Channel had 1.64.
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.1 million viewers. ABC's "World News" was second with 7.3 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6 million viewers.
For the week of May 26-June 1, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 12 million; "NCIS," CBS, 9.4 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 8.72 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.22 million; NBA Playoffs: San Antonio vs. Oklahoma City (Saturday), TNT, 8.15 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 7.88 million; "The Night Shift," NBC, 7.67 million; NBA Playoffs: Miami vs. Indiana (Wednesday), ESPN, 7.31 million; "Criminal Minds," CBS, 7.26 million; "Game of Thrones," HBO, 7.17 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.