Cable ratings: ‘Girls’ season 2 premiere down; ‘House of Lies,’ ‘Shameless’ up

House of LiesWe are still not entirely certain why a number of cable networks decided to launch new programming on Sunday night while many of their own actors were being recognized at the Golden Globes; but regardless, there were plenty of surprises from the final ratings that have come in.

To us, the biggest stunner of all is that “Girls,” despite getting all of the hype and the win for Best Comedy Series, actually scored lower than either “House of Lies” or the oft-forgotten show that is”Californication” over at Showtime. Lena Dunham and company drew 866.000 viewers for its first episode of season 2, which was down slightly from the season premiere. What’s the silver lining here? That season 1 premiered after “Game of Thrones,” and it was not airing against some of the show’s own stars receiving awards. (For those wondering, “Enlightened” drew 300,000 following the show.)

As for Showtime, “House of Lies” set a series high with almost 1.2 million viewers, while “Californication” drew 1.07 million afterwards (a far better retention rate than “Enlightened”). The benefit for these shows is that they aired after the premiere of “Shameless,” which drew a series high viewership of 2 million eyeballs. In addition to that, Don Cheadle had already won his Golden Globe by 10:00, so most of the show’s fans had already stopped watching the Globes and tuned over.

When it comes to quality among the four comedies previously mentioned, “Girls” may still be the strongest, but “House of Lies” may steal the title for the most improved. There were a number of funny gags during the premiere, especially when it came to Marty’s attempt to appease a client without knowing what the client had really hired the company for to begin with.

Want to read our “Girls” premiere review? You can do so here.

“Shameless” fans: Be sure to head over to the link here to find out some more information about the Shameless Awards, where you can basically win $500 by highlighting some of your friends’ shameless misdeeds.

Photo: Showtime

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