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TNT's 'Closer' is a ratings hit

NEW YORK -- A taste for new programming doesn't disappear just because it's summer, and TNT benefited last week.

''The Closer," starring Kyra Sedgwick as a CIA-trained detective, was seen by more than 7 million viewers in its debut, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That's a gigantic hit in the cable world: It was the top-rated premiere ever of any original scripted series on basic cable. It's not bad for the summer by broadcast standards, either. Nothing ABC showed that Monday night had a bigger audience; Fox and NBC had one show each that did better.

TNT has given its audience plenty of chances to see the Steven Spielberg miniseries ''Into the West," playing new episodes each Friday at 8 p.m., then repeating it at the same time Saturdays and Sundays. Add those three nights together and 11.3 million people saw it last week.

While it's not truly a fair comparison -- some viewers may have watched multiple times -- that kind of showing would have placed it fourth on Nielsen's list of the most-watched broadcast programs last week.

ABC's ''Dancing With the Stars" was again the week's most popular program. Even though fans haven't seemed to care much about the National Basketball Association finals, the three prime-time games helped ABC place first among the youthful viewers advertisers seek.

CBS was still the most popular network among all viewers, primarily because its repeats fare better than most of its rivals.

WB gives 'Geek'

a second season

The WB Network has ordered a second season of summer reality series ''Beauty and the Geek."

''Beauty and the Geek," from Fox21 and producers Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg, has been given an eight-episode pickup for a second cycle to premiere during the 2005-06 season, possibly midseason. That is two more episodes than the first installment of the unscripted series, now underway.

''Beauty and the Geek," which pairs beautiful women and nerdy guys in teams competing for $250,000, has showed impressive growth in its three airings to date, most recently pulling 4.5 million viewers and winning its Wednesday 8-9 p.m. slot in such key demos as adults 18-34 and persons 12-34.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Globe on NECN

Here's what's happening on ''Around the Globe" today on NECN:

9:30 a.m.: ''Talk of New England" -- Living/Arts writer Don Aucoin on one African-American woman's experience moving to Boston.

12:30 p.m.: ''Globe at Home" -- Researcher Kathleen Hennrikus and Medford native Paul Theroux on his new novel, ''Blinding Light."

5 p.m.: ''Around the Globe"

6:30 p.m.: ''New England Business Day"

8:30 p.m.: ''NewsNight"

Schedule is subject to change.

Other radio

highlights

9 a.m. WCRB-FM (102.5) -- Mozart's Symphony No. 40; Haydn's Symphony No. 64; Haydn's Piano Concerto in F.

9 p.m. WUMB-FM (91.9) -- ''World Cafe." Featuring: Nikka Costa, soulful siren.

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