A&E’s first scripted series in six years The Cleaner mopped up on the ratings front, drawing 2.6 million viewers.
The series, which stars Benjamin Bratt as an ex-addict who tries to cure others of their various addictions, drew the second-highest audience for an A&E scripted series premiere, trailing only the 2.9 million viewers that tuned into the 2000 launch of 100 Centre Street, according to A&E officials. The Cleaner's July 15 premiere doubled A&E’s 1.3 million average primetime audience in 2008.
The show, executively-produced by Jonathan Prince (American Dreams), is the first scripted series fare from A&E since 2002, when the network cancelled 100 Centre Street and Nero Wolfe.
The next big ratings bump for A&E could come from Wedneday night’s return of reality series Dog the Bounty Hunter, which returned to the air after a seven-month hiatus. A&E pulled the popular show in November, after suspending the show following racist remarks made by star Duane Chapman — aka Dog — were posted on the Web. Ratings numbers for Dog were not available at press time.