July 10, 2012 12:41pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Perception' Premieres to 5.6 Million Viewers After 'The Closer' Slips in Final Debut
As TNT prepares to finally end The Closer, nearly two years after announcing its planned departure, the Kyra Sedgwick drama continues to bring in big ratings for the network -- though not at the level they once were.
Monday's premiere of the final six episodes brought in 6.1 million viewers at 9 p.m., down from last summer's 7.2 million draw. That would make it the smallest premiere in the series' history, if this weren't technically a continuation of the 2011 run. With the demos, The Closer brought in 1.2 million adults 18-49 and 1.7 million adults 25-54.
Up until now, The Closer has been TNT's highest-rated program, peaking in 2007 with 9.2 million viewers. It will be replaced by spinoff Major Crimes, starring Mary McDonnell, when it takes its final bow in August.
At 10 p.m., TNT debuted Perception, starring Eric McCormack and Rachael Leigh Cook. The crime drama didn't quite pull in Closer numbers, bringing in 5.6 million viewers, but it did compete with recent drama premieres on the network.
Perception was behind only Dallas and its 6.9 million viewers among summer debuts. It tied Rizzoli & Isles' season opener and topped Falling Skies' 4.5 million and Franklin & Bash's 3.1 million viewers. Among adults 18-49 and 25-54, Perception had 1.1 million and 1.5 million viewers, respectively.
TNT recently handed out renewals for Dallas and Rizzoli & Isles. Additional orders for sophomore series Falling Skies and Franklin & Bash have not come through yet.