Showtime's linear premiere of The Borgias blessed the premium network with its top drama premiere in seven years.
The two-hour series bow on April 3 averaged 1.06 million watchers in its 9 p.m., according to Nielsen data, before adding in another 432,000 viewers at 11 p.m. Jeremy Irons stars as Pope Alexander VI, who headed the notorious Borgias clan in the late 15th century.
The debut's delivery was 22% greater than period piece predecessor The Tudors, which began its four-season reign on Showtime with 869,000 viewers and 1.27 in total during its opening night.
The Borgias also beat out the Jan. 9 premiere of Shameless, which garnered 982,000 in its 9 p.m. window and 1.3 million overall on its first night.
However, the show, which was available online and on-demand via different distributors platforms, fell just short of the first episode of Dead Like Me, which conjured 1.11 million viewers out of the gate.