July may be a relaxed time for scripted programming on the network side, but it’s already been a busy few days for cable drama premieres, with a trio of new shows — TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” A&E’s “The Glades” and Syfy’s “Haven” — attracting strong premiere audiences.
Most notable, clearly, was Monday (July 12) night’s premiere of “Rizzoli & Isles,” which brought in a whopping 7.6 million viewers, claiming the title of cable’s top commercial-supported series launch of all time.
Want a strange caveat for that record? The “Rizzoli & Isles” premiere still ranks behind the 2007 debut of “Raising the Bar” among all series premieres on ad-supported cable, but that premiere aired commercial-free.
“Rizzoli & Isles” got a big bump from the sixth season premiere of “The Closer,” which pulled in 7.7 million viewers, up 7 percent from its June 2009 Season Five premiere.
“The tremendous viewer response to ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ is very gratifying,” states Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. “‘Rizzoli & Isles’ is shaping up to be a great companion for The Closer, which continues to deliver extraordinary numbers in its sixth season on our network.”
A&E, meanwhile, was quite pleased with Sunday’s launch of “The Glades,” which became the most-watched original drama series telecast in that network’s history, pulling in 3.6 million viewers in its first airing, also setting records in A&E’s key 25-54 demographic.
“The fact that the series was able to break through in a crowded summer landscape against heavy competition is a testament to the quality of the show and the incredible talent and performance of the show”s lead Matt Passmore,” stated A&E President and General Manager Bob DeBitetto.
The Friday premiere of Syfy’s “Haven” broke no records, but it did pull in 2.336 million viewers, holding onto most of its lead-in from the fourth season premiere of “Eureka.”