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Networks score big with just-ended season

LOS ANGELES, May 29 (UPI) -- The traditional broadcast networks roared back in the just-finished television season, thanks to megahits like "Desperate Housewives" and "American Idol."

In contrast, cable was a dud with "The Sopranos" in hiatus, "The Shield" losing viewers and the absence of "Sex and the City."

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"I believe there's a great hope that there's another 'Idol' or 'Desperate Housewives' out there," Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori told Variety. "History does repeat itself -- and recent history does say you can deliver breakout hits, you can deliver huge audience numbers."

ABC chief Steve McPherson says audiences want to bond with the shows they watch.

"There's such a thirst for appointment television, and that's what serialized shows become," he says. "You want that shared experience, that show everyone can talk about the next day."

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