Shameless, Showtime's comedy where the Gallagher clan routinely hits new lows, set new ratings highs on Sunday night.
The March 4 premiere of the second season's eighth episode, entitled "Parenthood," averaged just over 1.60 million viewers, the most ever for the series, according to Nielsen data. That delivery was ahead 14% from the season's seventh installment, which aired on Feb. 19. (Shameless was pre-empted in favor of ABC's presentation of the Academy Awards on Feb. 26).
Adding another 518,000 watchers during the encore at 11 p.m. on March 4, "Parenthood" also now ranks as the show's best ever night for total audience.
Through the first five weeks of its sophomore run, Shameless, starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum who sit atop or on top of the dysfunctional brood, averaged 4.79 total weekly watchers across all platforms -- linear, on demand, encores, live + 7 measurement -- up 26% from a 3.8 million during the corresponding time frame of its rookie season.
Shameless will complete its 12-episode, second season run on April 1. The following week Showtime will introduce new seasons of The Borgias, Nurse Jackie and The Big. C.