On a night that saw the record-breaking and extra-long Season 6 finale of Game of Thrones, the multi-network broadcast of the BET Awards and the Copa America finals, Showtime took the plunge on June 26 and brought Ray Donovan back for its fourth season and debuted Roadies.
With both shows getting opening-episode previews, as the Hollywood fixer series has the past two years, Ray Donovan pulled in 1.1 million viewers for its 9 PM Season 4 debut. That’s up 7% in viewers from the Liev Schreiber-led drama’s Season 3 debut in L+SD numbers last July 12, which distinctly did not have to face GoT. As for the Cameron Crowe-helmed and J.J. Abrams-EP’d Roadies at 10 PM, it took a bath and dropped to less than half of its Donovan lead-in. The rock ‘n’ roll backstage comedy, as Showtime is categorizing it, had just 360,000 total viewers. While not a low for a Showtime debut – hello Happyish and Dice – the number is a harsh rebuke to the heavyweights involved in the widely panned show.
Well, now the Live+3 numbers are in and things pretty much stayed proportionally the same for all concerned. Ray Donovan saw a 67% rise to 1.85 million viewers, while Roadies went up a pretty unremarkable 39% to 499,000. That essentially brings the Ann Biderman-created and Mark Gordon-EP’d Donovan in at 5% up from last year with the first round of delayed viewing factored in.
Adding together the debut, replays, multi-platform views like Showtime on Demand and seven-day preview (485,000), the S4 opener of Donovan was watched by 3.3 million viewers so far, the cabler estimates. Using the same parameters, Roadies has snagged an audience of 1.7 million with 374,000 watching its preview online over the previous two weeks. Of note, the Ray Donovan sampling was down 15% from the 10-day Season 3 preview numbers – adding a further fold in anticipating how viewers truly watch this thing we still call TV in the new reality of the small screen.