Showtime’s series were off to a good start last night. Leading the way was new racy drama Shameless, a remake of the acclaimed British series, which drew 982,000 at 10 PM (1.3 million overall for the 2 runs) to rank as the most watched Showtime drama series premiere in 7 years, since Dead Like Me (1.11 million). It topped the debuts of The L Word (2004) – 936,000; The Tudors (2007) – 869,000; Dexter (2006) – 603,000.
Californication (848,000) at 9 PM delivered the dark comedy series’ best series premiere, topping the Season 3 premiere’s 821,000 which had the benefit of a Dexter lead-in. For the two airings combined, Californication averaged 1.12 million viewers.
At 9:30 PM, the showbiz-centric new comedy series starring Matt LeBlanc Episodes garnered 768,000 viewers (902,000 total), retaining 91% of its Californication audience. The premiere numbers are expected to get a boost from the pay cable network’s free cable and satellite previews this past weekend. The above numbers only factor in subscribers.