Top cable programs for Aug. 22-28

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Rankings for the top 15 programs on cable networks as compiled by Nielsen for the week of Aug. 22-28. Day and start time (EDT) are in parentheses:

1. “2011 Video Music Awards (Sunday, 9 p.m.), MTV, 8 million homes, 12.44 million viewers.

2. “Jersey Shore” (Thursday, 10 p.m.), MTV, 6.21 million homes, 8.47 million viewers.

3. “Jersey Shore” (Sunday, 7 p.m.), MTV, 5.64 million homes, 8.02 million viewers.

4. “2011 VMA Pre-Show” (Sunday, 8 p.m.), MTV, 4.98 million homes, 7.32 million viewers.

5. “The Closer” (Monday, 9 p.m.), TNT, 4.87 million homes, 6.57 million viewers.

6. “Rizzoli & Isles” (Monday, 10 p.m.), TNT, 4.79 million homes, 6.27 million viewers.

7. NFL Exhibition Football: Chicago vs. N.Y. Giants (Monday, 8 p.m.), ESPN, 4.45 million homes, 5.85 million viewers.

8. “Royal Pains” (Wednesday, 9 p.m.), USA, 4.17 million homes, 5.52 million viewers.

9. “I Just Want My Pants Back” (Sunday, 11:27 p.m.), MTV, 3.59 million homes, 5.13 million viewers.

10. NFL Exhibition Football: Washington vs. Baltimore (Thursday, 8 p.m.), ESPN, 3.52 million homes, 4.61 million viewers.

11. “Burn Notice” (Thursday, 9 p.m.), USA, 3.45 million homes, 4.57 million viewers.

12. “True Blood” (Sunday, 9:04 p.m.), HBO, 3.4 million homes, 5.31 million viewers.

13. “Necessary Roughness” (Wednesday, 10 p.m.), USA, 3.19 million homes, 4.18 million viewers.

14. “WWE Raw” (Monday, 10 p.m.), USA, 3.023 million homes, 4.66 million viewers.

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