TNT Raising the Bar for Basic-Cable Series-Launch Ratings

Stephen Bochco court drama scores highest viewer, household totals of any new basic-cable show ever; best 18-49 numbers of year for any new basic-cable series.

TNT said Monday that its debut of Stephen Bochco court drama Raising the Bar scored the highest viewer and household totals of any new basic-cable show ever and the best 18-49 numbers of the year for any new basic-cable series.

The show drew 7.7 million viewers and 5.7 million households, as well as 2.8 million adults 18-49. That topped USA Network's In Plain Sight as the top basic-cable premiere, according to TNT, and topped TNT's own The Closer (the lead-in to Raising the Bar's premiere Monday night), which had held the basic-cable series-launch record in households (5.259 million), and USA's The 4400 in viewers (7.407 million).

Raising the Bar aired at 10 p.m., up against "hurriconvention" specials on the broadcast networks, which had planned to air one hour’s worth of coverage of the Republican National Convention, as they did the Democrats last week, but instead reported on both the scaled-back convention -- no primetime speeches -- and Hurricane Gustav.