August 03, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

INTO THE ‘MISTS’

Thanks to TNT’s hard-charging ad campaign, Julianna Margulies and the women of Camelot stampeded almost to the top of the Nielsen basic-cable chart. Part 1 of The Mists of Avalon drew 6.9 million viewers–the largest audience ever for a TNT miniseries premiere–and captured the runner-up spot. Meanwhile, audience anticipation for Jurassic Park III no doubt gave a boost to the Discovery Channel’s When Dinosaurs Roamed America; the CGI-themed sequel to last year’s Walking With Dinosaurs rounded out the top five with 5 million viewers. And proving that there truly is no such thing as bad publicity, HBO’s showing of John Travolta’s much-maligned Battlefield Earth came in 5th, thanks to 2.8 million masochistic viewers.

TOP 5 PAY CABLE (JULY 9-15)

VIEWERS*

1 5.4 SEX AND THE CITY HBO, Sunday, 9 p.m. 2 5.3 SIX FEET UNDER HBO, Sunday, 9:33 p.m. 3 5.2 THE PERFECT STORM HBO, Saturday, 9 p.m. 4 3.1 ARLI$$ HBO, Sunday, 10:30 p.m. 5 2.8 BATTLEFIELD EARTH HBO, Tuesday, 9 p.m.

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