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‘Shameless’ Is Showtime’s Biggest Drama Debut in Seven Years

Jordin Althaus/Showtime

Showtime's Californication delivered its highest season premiere Sunday, drawing 848,000 viewers at 9 p.m. for its fourth season opener.

Its Season 3 premiere attracted 27,000 fewer viewers (821,000). The series did not receive its typical Dexter lead-in.

Matt LeBlanc's latest, Episodes, performed well following Californication at 9:30 p.m., grabbing 768,000 viewers. Most importantly, the half-hour comedy had 91% retention from the David Duchovny-starrer.

New hourlong comedy Shameless, starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, was the network's biggest debut for a drama series in seven years, with 982,000 viewers at 10 p.m. Dead Like Me was higher with 1.11 million. (The Hollywood Reporter spoke with co-star Justin Chatwin recently about the series.)

Showtime also had its free preview weekend, but these numbers only pertain to subscribers.