TV Ratings: 'Homeland' Gives Premiere Best, 'Masters of Sex' Sees Solid Debut

Homeland Season 3 Masters of Sex Premiere Split - H 2013

Homeland Season 3 Masters of Sex Premiere Split - H 2013

Facing steep competition from the broadcast networks and AMC's Breaking Bad on Sunday night, Showtime launched its new Sunday block with a premiere best for Homeland (1.9 million viewers) and a solid launch for Masters of Sex (1 million viewers).

Q&A: 'Homeland' EP Alex Gansa Talks Season 3, Benghazi and Demedicating Carrie -- Again

This time last year, the sophomore debut of Homeland brought in 1.7 million viewers, airing after Dexter. Now opening the night, the series fell shy of the near-record 2.3 million viewers that tuned in to last December's finale, but totaled 2.6 million viewers for the night -- up 26 percent from a year ago.

Showtime's most time-shifted series, the 2012 run of Homeland grossed an average 6.25 million viewers. It now stands as the network's most watched show, with former champ Dexter retiring earlier this month after eight seasons.

Masters of Sex, while not as strong as Ray Donovan earlier this summer, now ties Homeland as Showtime's second-best debut of all time. With a second outing last night and online sampling, the premiere totals 2.4 million viewers.