TNT’sThe Closer Monday broke its own viewership record for a scripted series, drawing 8.8 million viewers for its June 18 third-season premiere.
The series, starring Kyra Sedgwick, closed out its own record of 8.2 million viewers garnered for its June 19, 2006, sophomore-series premiere. Much like that second-season premiere, The Closer's June 18 episode ran commercial-free.
TNT's new medical series,Heartland, however, could not ride The Closer's viewership coattails. The series -- starring Treat Williams, who lives in the high-tension world of an organ donors' hospital -- averaged a 2.8 household rating and drew 4.2 million viewers, both numbers falling 51% off of The Closer's lead-in audience.
Heartland also failed to match the 5.1 million viewers the now-canceled paramedic show Saved garnered following The Closer's second-season premiere last year.
Another Turner-network-distributed freshman series suffered audience losses from their respective premieres. After a strong start, second-week ratings for back-to-back episodes of TBS' original comedy,House of Payne, garnered 2.2 and 2.6 ratings, down 37% and 31%, respectively, from the 3.5 and 3.8 for the show's two June 6 premiere episodes.