'L.A. Ink' bow paints pretty picture for TLC

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TLC drew big numbers for the premiere of its new series "L.A. Ink."

The show, starring tattoo artist Kat Von D of TLC's "Miami Ink" and the staff and clientele at her L.A.-based tattoo parlor, averaged 2.9 million total viewers at 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to Nielsen Media Research. That makes "L.A. Ink" the most-watched series debut for the network since the January 2003 premiere of "What Not to Wear."

It also is significantly higher than several recent TLC series premieres, including May's "Big Medicine" (1.3 million), June's "I've Got Nothing to Wear" (807,000) and July's "Hard Shine" (860,000) and "Diagnosis X" (830,000), among others.

"L.A. Ink," produced by Original Media, also ranks as the highest-rated series premiere ever for TLC among adults 18-34 (2.6 rating, 1.5 million) and was basic cable's highest-rated primetime program Tuesday among several key adult demos, including 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

The show also helped TLC rank as the No. 1 basic cable network in primetime Tuesday among demos including 18-34 and 18-49 and outperform ABC, CBS and NBC in 18-34.

New episodes of "L.A. Ink" will run through Oct. 30. Celebrity clients set to appear in upcoming episodes include Steve-O ("Jackass"), Jesse Metcalf ("Desperate Housewives"), rapper Eve and Anthrax's Scott Ian. TLC's Pamela Deutsch and Original Media's Charlie Corwin are the show's executive producers.
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