May 28, 2013 2:50pm PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Longmire' and 'Glades' Premieres Inch Up, 'Mermaids' Big for Animal Planet
A&E's growing roster of scripted originals continues to give a strong performance.
The cable network launched the second season of Longmire and the third season of The Glades on Sunday on Memorial Day -- and the holiday returns managed to bring season-to-season growth.
At 10 p.m., Longmire opened its sophomore run with 4.3 million viewers. That's up 200,000 from last summer's series premiere. The show was up by a more robust 12 percent among both key demographics, pulling 1.4 million adults 25-54 and 1.1 million adults 18-49.
The Glades, entering its fourth run, was up by the same measure (200,000) in total viewers for a 3.3-million-viewer haul. Additionally, the more-seasoned series came in shy of its most recent finale, while Longmire held steady.
Just a week ago, A&E wrapped up the freshman season of Psycho prequel Bates Motel. The series ranks as the second-most-watched new cable drama of the year and ended its run with a steady 2.7 million viewers.
Elsewhere in cable, Animal Planet hit a network record on Sunday night. Faux doc Mermaids: The New Evidence took in 3.6 million viewers -- that's up from 2005's Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real (2.8 million). Fictional animals, it turns out, are the biggest draw for the network. Mermaids also brought in 1.8 million adults 25-54, making it the top broadcast on television during that time slot.