TNT Raises Ratings Bar: Bochco Series Is Cable’s Top Launch


TNT has raised the bar for series launches as its new legal drama established a cable record for viewers and households.

Steven Bochco’s Raising The Bar garnered 5.7 million households and 7.7 million viewers, making it ad-supported cable’s best-ever series launch, according to Nielsen Cable Fast Nationals data.

The show, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar (NYPD Blue), Gloria Reuben (ER) and Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle), also brought in 2.8 million adults 18 to 49 and 3.5 million adults 25 to 54, the medium’s best numbers for series debuts year-to-date, according to TNT officials.

The commercial-free premiere of Raising The Bar received benefited from the strength of its lead-in, cable’s No. 1 all-time series The Closer, which has averaged 7.2 million viewers for the season-to-date.

“We are proud Raising The Bar is off to such a strong start, with a record-breaking series premiere,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, in a statement. “Raising The Bar is an important part of TNT’s ongoing plans to take on broadcast networks by increasing our lineup of high-profile, original series.  With the strength of the TNT brand and three solid, broadcast-level hits in Raising The Bar, The Closer and Saving Grace, we are well on the way to achieving our goals.”