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A busy night for cable premieres on Sunday brought promising ratings for two new series and solid returns for a trio of veteran shows.
Showtime’s Kidding and Lifetime’s You each topped 1 million viewers for their series debuts, including streaming and replays. Kidding‘s lead-in, Shameless, and season two of The Deuce on HBO both delivered audiences on par with their averages from a year ago. TNT’s The Last Ship, meanwhile, opened its final season to somewhat smaller but still decent ratings.
The on-air premiere of Kidding, starring Jim Carrey, delivered 443,000 viewers; three replays added 344,000 more. Early streaming of the show — Showtime released the first episode digitally 10 days early — brought in 360,000 more viewers for a total of 1.15 million.
For comparison’s sake, the premiere of Showtime’s Who Is America? in July had just over 1 million multiplatform viewers the day of its premiere.
The ninth-season premiere of Shameless — which will be the last for star Emmy Rossum — had the biggest linear audience of the five premieres, with 1.31 million people tuning in at 9 p.m. That’s down 30 percent from the 1.86 million viewers for the season eight premiere, but Sunday’s total audience of 2.21 million (including 370,000 from three on-air replays and 530,000 from same-day streaming and on demand) is on par with the season eight average.
Showtime also said Sunday was the biggest series-premiere day for signups to its stand-alone streaming service this year, and the weekend as a whole was the service’s best ever for adding new subscribers.
You opened to 824,000 viewers and a 0.2 rating among adults 18-49 on Lifetime, considerably better than the most recent premieres for Mary Kills People (311,000, 0.1) and UnReal (252,000, 0.1). Adding streaming and showings on sister network LMN raises to the total to 1.35 million.
Like Shameless, The Deuce‘s linear ratings were off year to year (636,000 vs. 830,000 for the series premiere, a decline of 23 percent). Including replays and streaming, the HBO show tallied 959,000 viewers for the night, including encores and streaming.
The series premiere of The Deuce in 2017 had 1.1 million night-of viewers, including replays, along with an additional 1.1 million who streamed or watched on demand in two-plus weeks prior to the on-air premiere. HBO said the 959,000 viewers for Sunday’s episode is in line with The Deuce‘s season one average.
TNT’s The Last Ship began its fifth and final season with 1.26 million viewers and a 0.2 in adults 18-49, vs. 1.87 million and 0.3 for the season four premiere. The cabler said the show has amassed 3.2 million multiplatform viewers.
The opening-night figures for all five shows likely represent just a fraction of their total audiences via delayed and on-demand viewing and streaming.
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