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'This Week' takes top Sunday TV spot (But 'Meet the Press' was off)

June 12, 2009 |  5:38 am

Charles_gibson_george_stephanopoulo ABC News has discovered the secret weapon to defeat "Meet the Press" in the suddenly volatile Sunday talk show ratings battle:

Tennis.

"This Week with George Stephanopoulos," featuring Secretary  of State Hillary Clinton, finally claimed the top Sunday morning spot June 7 with 3.11 million viewers.

It wasn't exactly a fair battle, though, because longtime leader "Meet the Press" didn't even air that day. The peacock's viewers were watching grown men in shorts bat around a little ball.

NBC opted to broadcast its coverage of the French Open, where tennis star Roger Federer claimed an impressive career Grand Slam.

Meanwhile, Stephanopoulos got to revel in the additional 680,000 viewers compared with the week before.

Whereas "This Week" got a major boost from "Meet the Press" host David Gregory getting lobbed off the air, ratings for "Face the Nation" remained at 2.49 million viewers for a second straight week.

What's worse, Bob Schieffer, host of the CBS show, lost ground with the crucial 25- to 54-year-old demographic that week.

Now, let's see how Gregory bounces back after his week off. As every week, The Ticket will post the Sunday show guest list at noon Pacific Saturday.

-- Mark Milian

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Photo: George Stephanopoulos before the Democratic Party debate in Philadelphia in 2008. Credit: Associated Press

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