12:17pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Shameless' Leads Showtime Sunday With 2 Million Viewers as Entire Lineup Surges
Showtime's Sunday lineup returned last night, with Shameless, House of Lies and Californication all kicking off new seasons with series highs.
Starting the night, Shameless' third season launched with 2 million viewers during its inaugural broadcast. That's 26 percent up from last season's 1.6 million opener. Adding an encore at 11 p.m., the series brought in 2.6 million for the night.
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House of Lies was up 15 percent from its series debut last January. The comedy, which won star Don Cheadle a Golden Globe on Sunday, pulled 1.19 million viewers in its inaugural viewing. Encores gave it 1.53 million for the night.
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The most senior show on the lineup, Californication, kicked off its sixth season with its biggest audience ever. The 1.07 million opener was up a whopping 41 percent from last season's 758,000-strong launch.
As it did last year, Showtime's winter premieres coincided with a free preview of the pay cabler that ran all weekend. All three series likely posted higher numbers, since the network only measures paid subscribers.