Showtime may not be able to throw themselves a victory parade with the latest ratings announcement that has come in, but they also have no reason to be upset with the performance of either of their fall shows when you consider the competition.
First, consider “Homeland.” This is a premiere that not only aired against the finale of “Breaking Bad,” but against everything premiering in the fall on network TV. It is a show that can therefore be recorded and watched later, especially given that much of the hour had already been spoiled in the press and online beforehand (read our review here). So with all of this in mind, getting 1.9 million viewers for a pay-cable network is something to still be pleased with. It’s not a series high, but it is an increase over the season 2 premiere last year.
The real conclusion to draw here? That it’s not fair to blame the crazy ending of season 2, or not having “Dexter” as a lead-in, for not setting any huge records. Next week should be a good test, when there is nothing on AMC trying to swallow it alive. Unfortunately, after that Carrie and company will have to fend off a horde of angry zombies on “The Walking Dead.”
As for new series “Masters of Sex,” the one million viewers for the premiere were probably more than satisfactory given that the pilot has been up online for weeks, and the network claims that it has been sampled a million times on its own. Given the subject matter here, Showtime should be lucky to keep that number for the rest of the series.
Just a brief note to close this off: There were no figures for the 18-49 demographic released by Showtime, but they are somewhat less important given that they do not have any advertisers to worry about. They just want people paying the monthly price in order to check out their content.