The year isn’t quite over, but unless there is a major last-minute shift, the top rankings of Cable 2012 look a lot like Cable 2011. USA Network is the No. 1 cable network and tops among adults 18-49 in primetime for the seventh year running according to data from Nielsen (see the full viewership and demo lists after the jump). The other top rankings pretty much stayed the same as last year with the exception of History Channel, which moved up to fourth place, and TNT, last year’s No. 4, moving to fifth. Scoring its best year ever, History hit cable record ratings late this spring with its Hatfields & McCoys miniseries.
With original series like Burn Notice, White Collar and Suits, USA held a good lead over other networks, though it didn’t have a break-out hit this year USA did decline 10% in total viewership and 13% in the 18-49 demographic compared with last year. Coverage of the Presidential election helped push Fox News Channel to a 10% gain in total viewership, a 6% rise in 18-49, and a 1% bump in the 25-54 demo.