It appears that TNT has a bona fide hit with new series Rizzoli & Isles.
After retaining virtually all of The Closer's audience during its premiere, the drama built on its lead-in during its second episode.
The crime series, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, averaged 7.27 million viewers on July 19 in its 10 p.m. time slot, according to Nielsen data. That was some 300,000 more than the 6.97 million The Closer, basic-cable's top original series ever, delivered on Monday.
The second episode of Rizzoli & Isles delivered 5.33 million households, 1.98 million persons 18 to 49, and 2.71 million adults 25 to 54.
The series posted across-the-board growth over The Closer's 5.23 million households, 1,66 million person 18 to 49 and 2.27 million adults 25-54.
The July 12 premiere of Rizzoli & Isles was the biggest debut in ad-supported cable history, bowing before 7.6 million watchers, and retaining 99% of The Closer's 7.7 million viewers that night. Monday night's second installment of Rizzoli & Isles dropped just 4% of its audience from the premiere.
Based on the crime novels by best-selling author Tess Gerritsen, the series stars Harmon and Alexander as Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles, good friends and sometimes partners, who together solve crimes and bust some of Boston's most notorious criminals. Lorraine Bracco co-stars as Rizzoli's intrusive mother.
The Closer, now in its sixth season, continues its strong performance as this season's second episode grew 8% compared to the second episode of season five, according to TNT officials.