In the face of stiff competition, Showtime‘s Shameless and House Of Lies wrapped their fourth and third seasons, respectively, with best-yet wrap-up stats. Shameless’s surprise finale — in which, during closing credits (SPOILER ALERT) Jack pulls up to the Gallagher household, looking for all the world like a resurrected Jimmy/Steve — delivered its biggest telecast of the season and highest-rated finale ever with 1.93 million viewers at 9 PM and 2.83 million viewers for the night, outperforming the Season 3 finale by 18% (2.39 million) and its Season 4 premiere by 23% (2.3 million). House Of Lies, meanwhile, ended its third season with 731,000 viewers at 10 PM and 1.4 million viewers for the night — the show’s best finale night ever, outperforming its Season 2 finale and Season 34 premiere by 16%; both had delivered 1.2 million viewers. It too was fraught with drama including (SPOILER ALERT) busy Marty Kaan about to be indicted and having admitted love to Jeannie, who comes off looking pretty bad.
Showtime and HBO have made opposite programming decisions for Super Bowl Sunday. Showtime, which originally planned to air repeats on February 2, has now decided to air originals of its series Shameless, House Of Lies and Episodes against the big game. I hear the call was made after Showtime brass were encouraged by the shows’ performances last Sunday when, against the strongest primetime NFC Championship Game in 19 years, they managed to post a 17% year-to-year audience growth for the night. With over 70% of Showtime subscribers watching series on a time-shifted basis, the network decided not to interrupt its weekly delivery of originals.
Looks like Jimmy Lishman really did meet his fate at the end of Season 3 of Shameless. Executive Producer John Wells revealed last night at a panel at the TV Academy that Justin Chatwin, who has played …
Three weeks into the season, Showtime has renewed its entire current Sunday lineup: Drama Shameless for a fourth season, comedy House Of Lies for a third and veteran Californication for Season 7. The pickup comes as all three series are off to a strong start this season. They all returned on January 13 with their highest-rated episodes ever. The third season of Shameless is currently averaging 5.4 million weekly viewers across platforms, up 22% from last season and up 63% vs. Season 1. The second season of House Of Lies is averaging 3.2 million weekly viewers, up 10% from Season 1, and the sixth season of Californication is averaging 3.1 million weekly viewers, up 21% vs. season five. Production for the new seasons of all three series will kick-off in Los Angeles later this year for a 2014 launch. “Californication, House Of Lies and Shameless possess highly distinctive comedic voices, and given that all three continue to grow their audience season after season – the pick-up decision was easy,” said Showtime entertainment president David Nevins.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Premium cable channels enjoy the luxury of not having to worry as much as commercial TV about success in certain time slots, Showtime entertainment chief David Nevins said during today’s TCA Q&A with reporters. He pointed out that 65% of the Dexter audience watches the show at some time after its original airing.
But Showtime chose to focus on a time slot – an evening, that is — in presenting this afternoon’s panel featuring actors from its Sunday night series House of Lies (Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell), Californication (Evan Handler, Pamela Adlon) and Shameless (William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum).
The lively conversation ranged all over the map but at one point wandered to Macy’s short haircut, a marked difference from the filthy flowing locks his character sported when Shameless began (and the clean flowing locks the actor wore in the 2012 movie The Sessions). “I cut it off on the show, it was very dramatic,” the actor said, joking that after his buzz cut he enjoyed watching the faces of onlookers searching for something positive to say about his new look. “I got 7 hats for Christmas,” he added.
Of his character, the actor drew laughs by saying: “There is no low for this character. They have installed special low-cal scenery because I’ve been eating so much of it.”
After a strong start to the current season, Showtime has given an early renewal to its entire Sunday lineup of Shameless, House Of Lies and Californication. With the pickup of dark comedy House Of Lies, both of Showtime’s freshman series greenlighted by entertainment president David Nevins are going into a second season, along with drama hit Homeland. Shameless has been picked up for a third season, while Californication was renewed for a sixth. “These three shows are clearly resonating with audiences as evidenced by their steady growth on Sunday nights,” Nevins said. “We are extremely pleased with the creative work being done by the casts, producers and writers – and I so appreciate that each of these series has such a clear and distinctive voice.”
Showtime’s Sunday night lineup is posting double-digit year-over-year growth for its returning series and strong numbers for rookie House Of Lies. Shameless averages 4.75 million weekly viewers, up 30% vs. Season 1 to rank as Showtime’s No. 2-rated show behind only Dexter. House Of Lies is on track to be Showtime’s highest-rated comedy. Season 5 of Californication averages 2.96 million viewers across all platforms, up 10% from Season 4.