Cable Weekend Ratings: 'Copper', 'Political Animals', 'Strike Back', 'Boss' + Oprah

It was a busy weekend in cable with premieres, finales and specials. BBC America’s first original scripted series Copper drew 1.1 million total viewers and 514,000 adults 25-54 in its Sunday 10 PM debut to rank as the highest-rated series premiere in the network history. Across its premiere and three consecutive replays, the Cineflix-produced period drama drew 1.8 million total viewers.

Two pay cable dramas opened their second seasons on Friday night significantly down from their series debuts. Cinemax’s Strike Back at 10 PM drew 390,000 viewers. That was down 31% from the series’ launch last August though the network says it was 35% above the Season 1 average (289,000).

Also on Friday but at 9 PM, Season 2 of Starz’s Boss averaged 317,000 viewers for its premiere telecast, down 52% from its series premiere in October, which aired at 10 PM. The combined Friday night audience for two airings yielded 509,000 viewers, also roughly half of the viewership on premiere night last year. Starz notes that Boss’ Season 2 premiere rating was in line with its average for Season 1, though the series’ suffered ratings declines throughout its run last season.

USA Network’s Political Animals wrapped its run on Sunday with 2.3 million viewers. That was up 18% from the previous week when the series faced the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. It was the political/family drama’s largest viewership since the premiere (2.6 million). It is unclear whether the uptick would be enough to warrant a second installment of the show, introduced as a limited series, but it is nice to end on a high(er) note.

Also on Sunday, Oprah’s Next Chapter featuring Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Rihanna drew 2.5 million to mark OWN’s second highest rated telecast ever. It led to the series premiere of new original series Lovetown, USA, which posted OWN’s second highest series premiere in W25-54 (.79), behind only Oprah’s Next Chapter.

Over at IFC, controversial new comedy Bullet In The Face averaged 78,000 viewers among adults 18-49 for its six-episode run in premiere airings. (An earlier version of the story featured cumed numbers)

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