On what the network billed as its biggest weekend ever, Shameless became Showtime's top original drama series premiere in seven years.
which stars William H. Macy as a hard-drinking, working class patriarch
of the dysfunctional, yet tight Gallagher family in Chicago, averaged
982,000 watchers in its Jan. 9 debut at 10 p.m., according to Nielsen.
That was Showtime's best start for a drama since the premiere of Dead Like Me,
which pulled in some 1.11 million viewers back in 2003, and
outperformed the debuts of such notable, long-running dramas on
thenetwork as lesbian show The L Word (936,000 in 2004), period piece The Tudors (869,000 in 2007) and serial killer program Dexter (603,000 in 2006).
Adding another 300,000-plus viewers in the hour immediately following, Shameless,
which also stars Emmy Rossum, as the Gallagher clan's eldest daughter
who keeps the home afloat, pulled in some 1.3 million watchers.