Nellie Andreeva

Cinemax’s first primetime original series, actioner Strike Back, got off to a promising start Friday, drawing 567,000 viewers for its premiere 10 PM across Cinemax’s universe of 16.7 million homes. That was Cinemax’s best ratings performance in the time slot in six years, since a broadcast of Titanic in 2005. Including the 11 PM and 12 AM repeats, Strike Back averaged 1.1 million viewers. The debut of Strike Back was on par with the 2010 premiere of Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which drew 659,000 viewers in the same Friday 10 PM slot when available in 21.6 million homes. Of the more recent pay cable premieres, Strike Back was comparable to Showtime’s Episodes and Starz’s Torchwood: Miracle Day when the channels’ distribution is taken into account. Here is a list of recent pay cable premieres:

Meanwhile, there is promising signs for Lifetime’s new drama Against the Wall following its soft start three weeks ago with 1.8 million viewers. In Week 2, the series held even in total viewers and ticked up 2% in adults 18-49 to 651,000. Then, in its third airing last night, the family/cop drama grew in all ratings categories, including total viewers (1.9 million, up 6%) and adults 18-49 (705,000, up 8%).

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