Homeland Season PremiereOn the heels of sweeping the Emmys a week ago, Showtime‘s Homeland opened its second season with 1.73 million viewers at 10 PM last night, up 60% from its series debut last fall and marking a new series high for the terrorism thriller, edging the first-season finale (1.7 million). This was Showtime’s most-watched second-season premiere ever, outpacing Shameless‘ sophomore season opener (1.58 million).

Homeland‘s performance last night was impressive, but how about veteran Dexter posting ratings records in its seventh season? The serial-killer drama drew 2.4 million at 9 PM last night, its most-watched premiere ever, to provide a great lead-in for Homeland. Dexter extended its unprecedented streak, going up in the ratings in every premiere since the series’ 2006 launch — that is six consecutive years of ratings growth. For the night, Dexter averaged 3.04 million viewers, up 10% vs. last season’s premiere night; Homeland (2.07 million) was up 50% to deliver Showtime’s most watched Sunday night ever. The dramas rank as Showtime’s two highest-rated series. As for Emmy success’ impact on Homeland, the series’ Season 1 registered some 1 million on-demand views over the past week, following the Emmy Awards where the series won four statuettes, including best drama series.