Cable Has Sizzling Summer Start


Cable networks are starting the summer strong – new episodes of original series for several networks are besting their last-year averages.

The third season premiere of Rescue Me on May 30 did 10% better than its season-two premiere with total viewers and 15% better than its season-two average. The original drama’s season-three premiere averaged 3.21 million total viewers. The show also did better with adults 18-49 than it did last season, averaging 2.05 million viewers in the demo, up 7% from the season-two debut and 13% from the season-two average. That was also 6% better than its season-one average.

The second-season premiere of A&E’s Criss Angel Mindfreak May 31 – back-to-back episodes at 10 and 10:30 p.m. – bested its season-one premiere with total viewers and adults 18-49, among other demos. The two episodes averaged 2.3 million total viewers – 34% more than the season-one premiere – and 1.6 million adults 18-49 – up 34% from last season. The 10:30 episode pulled in the series’ best ever ratings in total viewers and adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

The second season of A&E’s Inked at 9 p.m. also bested its last-year numbers with its season-two premiere Wednesday night. The episode averaged 1.1 million total viewers – 16% better than last season’s premiere – and 770,000 adults 18-49 – up 25% from last year.

Separately, Sci Fi said Thursday that 13 new episodes of its reality series Ghost Hunters will premiere in October (six in October and the rest in early 2007) after the series posted solid numbers for its 90-minute season finale Wednesday (May 31) – 1.2 million in adults 18-49.