December 19, 2011 1:18pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
TV Ratings: 'Homeland' Finale Sets Record for Showtime
Sunday was a big night for Showtime, with season finales of both Homeland and Dexter delivering big ratings for the premium cable network.
The season finale of terrorism dramaHomeland, starring Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, registered 1.71 million viewers at 10 p.m., with 2.03 million viewers watching the episode that featured the outcome of Brody's planned attack on U.S. soil.
STORY: 'Homeland' Finale: It's a Battle of Wills for Carrie and Brody
The 90-minute finale was up 58 percent compared with the series premiere, which drew 1.08 million viewers, and marked a series best. Sunday's finale became Showtime's highest-rated freshman series ever and now ranks as its No. 2-rated series behind Dexter.
In its first eight weeks, Homeland is averaging 4.23 million total viewers across multiple platforms.
STORY: 'Dexter' Showrunner on the Finale, the 'Ew' Moment and What's Ahead (Q&A)
Meanwhile, the shocking Season 6 finale of its Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter serial killer drama Dexter notched 2.23 million viewers at 9 p.m., and 2.71 million for the night, marking its best telecast of the year and highest-rated night. It was the most-watched telecast on the network for the year.
Over the first eight weeks of the season, Dexter's sixth season is averaging 5.4 million total viewers, up 10 percent year-over-year, and on pace to deliver its highest-rated season ever.