There are no good comparisons for Sunday’s sixth-season premiere of Homeland as the Showtime drama for the first time debuted in January, not in the fall, and for the first time had the opening episode available to Showtime subscribers for on-demand viewing for more than two weeks prior to the January 15 premiere telecast.
The actual Sunday Season 6 premiere of Homeland drew 1.1 million viewers at 9 PM and 1.4 million viewers for the night via two airings and replays. Season 5’s opening numbers were 1.7 million and 2.1 million, respectively.
But if you add the 1.25 million advance views of the premiere since December 30, the Season 6 opener audience goes from tying Season 1 of Homeland as the smallest ever (1.4 million) to tying Season 3 as the largest (2.6 million).
Again, that is in no way apples-to-apples comparison. For that, we will have to wait for the average weekly viewers Season 6 will log over the span of the season with linear and on-demand viewing. For Season 5, that average was 6 million.