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'Meet the Press' comes out swinging, back on top on Sunday

June 18, 2009 |  3:30 pm

After a week's rest, the reigning champion came out and defeated the competition last Sunday.

We're not talking about tennis star Roger Federer but rather David Gregory, the host of "Meet the Press." NBC bumped his show off the air June 7 to show the French Open.

During that Sunday morning broadcast, George Stephanopoulos' "This Week" seemed to pick up the neglected "Meet the Press" fans to claim a decisive victory. But with Gregory back, the ratings battle picked up where it left off at the end of May, and ABC's "This Week" has dropped to third.

NBC's public affairs show had about 3.1 million viewers on Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research. That widened the gap from a few weeks ago between the Gregory-moderated show and CBS' "Face the Nation."

Bob Schieffer's "Face the Nation" program pulled in about 2.6 million viewers, and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" came in third with 2.3 million, the Nielsen data said.

Part of the ratings gap between NBC and CBS could have had something to do with the guests.

"Meet the Press" had an interview with Vice President Joe Biden, while "Face the Nation" featured Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin -- not exactly an all-star, high-powered lineup.

-- Mark Milian

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Photo courtesy: NBC

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