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Solid Start For Showtime’s Sunday Series

Nellie Andreeva

Showtime’s series were off to a good start last night. Leading the way was new racy drama Shameless, a remake of the acclaimed British series, which drew 982,000 at 10 PM (1.3 million overall for the 2 runs) to rank as the most watched Showtime drama series premiere in 7 years, since  Dead Like Me (1.11 million). It topped the debuts of The L Word (2004) – 936,000; The Tudors (2007) – 869,000; Dexter (2006) – 603,000.

Californication (848,000) at 9 PM delivered the dark comedy series’ best series premiere, topping the Season 3 premiere’s 821,000 which had the benefit of a Dexter lead-in. For the two airings combined, Californication averaged 1.12 million viewers.

At 9:30 PM, the showbiz-centric new comedy series starring Matt LeBlanc Episodes garnered 768,000 viewers (902,000 total), retaining 91% of its Californication audience. The premiere numbers are expected to get a boost from the pay cable network’s free cable and satellite previews this past weekend. The above numbers only factor in subscribers.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Dips In Week 2 & ‘Treme’ Ends Season 1

Nellie Andreeva

hbo_smallOn the heels of True Blood‘s renewal yesterday for Season 4, HBO released ratings for the Sunday second episode of the vampire drama’s current third season. True Blood drew 4.3 million viewers, down modest 14% from the heavily promoted and highly-rated season premiere the week before. The combined audience for the 9PM and 11PM showings of the episode was 5.6 million viewers. Meanwhile, freshman drama Treme quietly wrapped its first season on Sunday (it has already been picked up for a second season). The New Orleans-based series held only to a fraction of the True Blood audience at 10PM, averaging 931,000 viewers (1.4 million when the midnight rerun is added.) But again, with Treme, which was renewed right after the premiere, ratings were never a factor in the pickup decision. ”This is too good of a show and too important of a show not to invest in a second season,” HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo said at the time.

UPDATE: Over at Showtime, the series finale of The Tudors on Sunday drew 682,000 and 900,000 total for the two airings. That was 68% up from the last year’s Season 3 finale. Meanwhile, the debut of The L Word unscripted offshoot The Real L Word, which followed The Tudors finale, averaged a combined 487,000 viewers for its two telecasts.

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