Showtime’s Ray Donovan had the biggest original series debut in the cable network’s history last night with 1.35 million viewers at 10 PM. The LA fixer series starring Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight was up from the 1.08 million who watched the debut of Homeland on October 2, 2011. Homeland’s debut was the best drama premiere the cable network had over the previous eight years; Season 2 of Homeland debuted September 30 with 1.73 million viewers. Over two plays Sunday, Ray Donovan pulled in 2.22 million viewers. Those number were certainly helped by its bloodlusting lead-in: At 9 PM in its new summer slot, Dexter returned for its eight and final season with 2.5 million viewers, up from the 2.4 million who watched the series’ Season 7 premiere on September 30 and an all-time premiere high for the show. Sunday’s premiere continues Dexter’s unbroken premiere ratings growth since its 2006 Season 1 opener. Overall, Dexter had 3.2 million viewers for the night over all plays. As well as premiering last night, the entire first episode of Ray Donovan has been available online since mid-June.
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