Fifth-Season Of 'Rescue Me' Falls Short Of Fourth-Season Debut

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The fifth season of FX firefighter series Rescue Me got off to a lukewarm ratings start, which the network hopes will heat up considerably when live-plus-seven-day data is measured.

The April 7 premiere of the Denis Leary-starrer averaged 2.3 million total viewers, including 1.5 million of the Madison Avenue-coveted adults 18 to 49, according to Nielsen Media Research live+ same-day data. The performance was down 18% among viewers and 16% in the demo against the fourth season-season debut in June 2007.
The numbers were flat against fourth-season same-day results in viewers and dipped 2% among adults 18 to 49, according to network officials.
Factoring in Rescue Me's encore at 11 p.m., the show added another 914,000 total viewers, 558,000 in the demo, among them. As such, the show topped season-four encore averages by 22% and 11%, respectively.
Overall, FX executives anticipate a major jump when live-plus-seven data becomes available 20 days or so hence. They say the number of FX homes with digital video recorders has doubled since the summer of 2007, when Rescue Me's fourth campaign screened for the first time.
Gauged against its competitors, rather than itself, Rescue Me was basic-cable's highest-rated original telecast on April 7 among adults and men 18 to 49 and men 25 to 54.
Head-to-head, among the 18-to-49 set, the episode bested Bravo's Real Housewives of New York City by 6%, USA Network's off-network run of House by 17%, TBS's syndicated Office and original My Boys tandem by 38% and the finale of TNT's original advertising series Trust Me by 533%, according to FX officials.

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