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3 YEARS

Cable Ratings: Lifetime's 'Client List' Strong, 'Magic City' Soft, Showtime Returning Series Mixed

"Nurse Jackie" comes back strong while "The Big C" and "The Borgias" post year-over-year declines.

"Magic City"
"Magic City"

Lifetime's Jennifer Love Hewitt series The Client List launched strong, Showtime had a mixed bag, and Starz wasn't quite as lucky as the cable networks all bowed new and returning series Sunday. 

In its premiere as a weekly drama, Lifetime's Client List averaged 2.8 million total viewers in its bow at 10 p.m. Sunday, becoming the network's most-watched series launch since Drop Dead Diva on July 12, 2009, according to Nielsen. The Client List telefilm drew 3.9 million viewers for Lifetime in 2010.

Showtime, meanwhile, had a mixed bag with a trio of returning series Sunday night. Returning for its fourth season, the Edie Falco comedy Nurse Jackie opened to 653,000 viewers at 9 p.m., up 7 percent vs. last year's season premiere.

Following Jackie, the third season of Showtime's Laura Linney dark comedy The Big C collected 581,000 viewers at 9:30 p.m., down from the 890,000 who tuned in for the sophomore-season opener but up 35 percent from its second-season finale.

At 10 p.m., second-year period drama The Borgias delivered 604,000 total viewers, down from its series premiere and freshman-season finale.

Worth noting, the premium cable network offered the season premieres of the series early online, with the first three episodes of all three currently available via Showtime on Demand. Sunday also marked the time-slot premieres for Jackie and Big C, with the comedies moving from their previous home on Mondays.

For its part, Starz debuted its Mad Men-esque period drama Magic City in its regular time slot at 10 p.m. Friday after previewing the Jeffrey Dean Morgan series March 30 after the season finale of Spartacus. While specific numbers for its 10 p.m. airing weren't immediately available, the initial broadcast and an encore presentation at 11 p.m. Friday collected 423,000 viewers.

When factoring in all broadcasts during premiere weekend, the series drew 965,000 total viewers; multiplatform sampling of the first three episodes collected 1.6 million viewers. All told, Magic City drew more than 2.5 million when factoring in online streaming, Starz on demand and Live+3 DVR numbers. The premium cable channel already has picked up the drama from writer-producer Mitch Glazer for a second season. 

The Magic City Friday numbers are down from the series premiere of Starz's Kelsey Grammer political drama Boss, which drew a combined audience of 1.1 million with repeat viewings on its Oct. 21 premiere.