Sex and the City ended the first half of its final season with a bang— in the Nielsens that is.
The Home Box Office comedy series posted a 15.8 rating and 22 share within the premium channel's universe for its Sept. 14 installment, per Nielsen Media Research — the 12th episode of its sixth and final season, and the last original show to debut until the series returns for eight more episodes in its concluding story arc, beginning in January.
HBO said the Sept. 14 show topped the 15.4 rating garnered by the Sex
installment that premiered on Aug. 25, 2002.
The performance provided a strong lead-in for series newcomer Carnivale, whose debut was the strongest for an original series in HBO history.
From a viewer perspective, the Sept. 14 episode drew 7.7 million viewers to become the series' second-highest in that regard, trailing only the 7.9 million who tuned in the premiere episode of Sex's fifth season.
Through the first 12 episodes of Sex's sixth season, HBO said the show averaged a 14.0 rating, a 22 share and 6.7 million viewers. Those numbers are down from the series' fifth campaign, which averaged a 14.4 rating and 22 share. That season, though, comprised of just eight episodes, cut short by the real-life pregnancy of Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Sex
protagonist Carrie Bradshaw.
The debut of Carnivale, chronicling a 1930s Dust Bowl-era traveling carnival troupe amidst the forces of good and evil, was the most-watched original series premiere in HBO history. It captured some 5.3 million viewers, a 10.6 rating and 15 share from 9:35 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. that night. That bested the 5 million viewers who watched the debut of Six Feet Under.
But there was a drop of 2 million viewers for the bow of political series K Street, which followed Carnivale.
generated a 6.7 rating and an 11 share in its initial outing, attracting some 3 million viewers.
In the nation's capital, though, viewers took greater notice, as K Street
grabbed a 12.8 rating, making it Washington's top program overall in the 10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. time slot.
Both shows will move into their regular time slots on Sept. 21: Carnivale
at 9 p.m., followed by K Street
at 10 p.m.