USA Network got off to a hot start with its Thursday night pairing of Burn Notice and Royal Pains.
The fourth-season premiere of spy drama Burn Notice bested its third-season beginning with 6.62 million viewers on June 3 in the 9 p.m. hour. That was 24% above its first quarter 2010 opener and 10% above its third-season debut last summer, according to Nielsen data. The average audience was also cable's top scripted series performance of 2010 to date, with a fresh campaign of TNT's The Closer waiting in the wings on July 12
Relative to demos, Burn Notice scored with 2.58 million persons 18 to 49, 2% gains over its mid-season bow in January and its third-season debut last in 2009. It notched 2.93 million adults 25 to 54, 24% and 10% more than the aforementioned installments, respectively. The June 3 telecast garnered 1.19 million 18-to-34 watchers, the show's third-best performance ever with that set, according to officials at the characters network.
As for Hamptons concierge doctor series Royal Pains, its second-season bow played before an average of 5.84 million viewers, up 5% from the 5.6 million for the series debut on June 4, 2009, according to Nielsen data, when it premiered as the cable's most-watched new show of 2009. On Thursday night, Royal Pains retained 88% of Burn Notice's lead-in.
The sophomore season bow, when measured against the series premiere, registered a 3% increase to 2.36 million persons 18 to 49; a 5% uptick to 2.64 million adults 25 to 54; and a 2% advance to 1.11 million persons 18 to 34.