With so much attention focused on MTV’s phenomenon Jersey Shore and BET’s The Game, History’s less noisy series Pawn Stars and American Pickers often get overlooked. But last week, they ranked No.4, 5 and 6 behind Jersey Shore and The Game among all cable series in total viewers. And last night, they broke rating records for History with some staggering numbers. The 10:30 PM episode of Pawn Stars drew 7 million viewers, 3.7 million of them in the 18-49 demo, a series high and History’s most watched telecast ever. The 10 PM episode of Pawn Stars was close behind (6.7 million, 3.4 million in 18-49) At 9 PM, American Pickers drew 6.2 million viewers, 2.6 million in 18-49. The 3 programs ranked as cable’s No.1, 2 and 3 shows last night in all key metrics.
Meanwhile, there was good news for Syfy’s new original drama Being Human. While fellow British drama remake Skins on MTV took a dive in its second outing last night, Being Human actually grew in its second airing last night: by 9% in total viewers to 2.14 million and by 21% in Adults 18-49 to 1.21 million. Being Human is now tracking as Syfy’s most successful scripted winter series launch since Battlestar Galactica in 2005.
Over at MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell made his debut in the 8 PM slot, taking over for Keith Olbermann, who abruptly left on Friday night. (Watch what O’Donnell said about Olbermann on the show last night.) He did well (1.5 million viewers, 332,000 in 25-43), finishing second in the hour behind dominant player Bill O’Reilly on Fox News (3.5 million, 815,000 in 25-54) and well ahead of CNN’s Parker/Spitzer (483,000, 150,000 in 25-54). Like his predecessor Olbermann, he had the highest-ranked program on MSNBC last night and significantly improved on Olbermann’s 2010 average of 1 million viewers.
However fellow primetime newbie, CNN’s Piers Morgan (763,000, 208,000 in 25-54) was miles behind the competition at 9 PM, FNC’s Hannity (2.2 million, 602,000 in 25-54) and Rachel Maddow (1.4 million, 338,000 in 25-54)
Elsewhere on cable, Bravo’s The Real Wives of Atlanta (3.43 million) on Sunday posted a series high in total viewers.