Homeland returned to solid numbers and The Affair climbed 61% versus last year’s premiere on Sunday night on Showtime. At 9 PM, the Season 5 premiere of Homeland delivered 1.66M viewers, a 3% climb compared to Season 4’s starting crowd of 1.61M. Over its various telecasts last night, the show clocked 2.1M viewers – a 5% increase compared to Season 4’s 1.99M.
Meanwhile, The Affair’s Season 2 opener outscored last year’s unveiling by double digits. At 10 PM, it kicked off with 815K viewers, a 61% improvement on its Season 1 opening’s 507K. For the total night, the show delivered 1.05 million viewers, up 30% compared to Season 1 comparable’s 809K. The Affair was offered for early sampling to subscribers on demand and on authenticated platforms – delivering an additional 485,000 views for a total viewing of 1.54 million viewers for the premiere. That’s 10% better than Season 1’s early sampling of 1.4M.
In its fourth season, Homeland, Showtime’s flagship series, averaged about 6 million weekly viewers across platforms. The Affair likewise saw a big bump from DVR/digital viewing. Despite a soft launch — the series opened with 507,000 same-day viewers in October 2014 — The Affair paced to become Showtime’s most time-shifted original series, averaging 4.19 million weekly viewers across platforms, with 87% of the show’s audience tuning in after the original Sunday 10 PM telecast.
In November, Showtime renewed both original series, giving a 12-episode fifth-season pickup to Homeland and a 10-episode second-season order to The Affair.
This morning’s stats are good news for Showtime. Last October’s opening average audience of 1.61 million was a tumble from 2013’s season-starting premiere of 1.88M, or fall 2012’s opening 1.73M. Last October’s opening saw a repeat at 11 PM log another 250K viewers to bring the night’s tally to 1.86M. Homeland’s biggest crowd to date remains its third-season finale (2.38 million).
This past March March, executive producer/director Alex Gansa revealed that Homeland’s Season 5 would jump forward 2 1/2 years, Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison would no longer be an intelligence officer, and the drama would shoot in Germany.