Mixed results for TNT premieres

'Closer' opens strong; 'Bar' gets lowered

TNT's procedural heavy hitters "The Closer" and "Raising the Bar" delivered very different-sized audiences Monday night, with "Closer" nearly matching last year's debut and "Bar" dropping sharply.

The fifth season premiere of "The Closer" at 9 p.m. delivered its typically enormous cable viewership of 7.1 million. "Closer" had ad-supported cable's biggest audience for a scripted series telecast so far this year, though it was 9% off last summer's bow

But then half of TNT's audience changed the channel at 10 p.m. and missed the second season debut of "Raising the Bar," which garnered 3.6 million viewers, down 53% from last year's premiere. "Bar" was expected to take a hit given its record-setting "Closer"-level opener last summer (and subsequent drop off) and the legal drama remained above the show's first-season average.

TNT's premieres continue next Tuesday night with the Season 3 debut of "Saving Grace," Mark Burnett's new reality series "Wedding Day" and Jada Pinkett Smith's new drama "Hawthorne."

"We're thrilled to get the summer off to a terrific start with the return of these popular, acclaimed series," said Michael Wright, executive vp, TNT. "We look forward to continued success next week with the launch of 'Wedding Day' and 'Hawthorne,' plus the return of 'Saving Grace.' Next month, we'll celebrate the return of 'Leverage' and the launch of 'Dark Blue.' "
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