CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Two of December's biggest cable events - HBO's "Angels in America" and Sci Fi's "Battlestar Galactica" - got off to solid starts this week and in the case of "Galactica," a surprisingly strong finish.
Part one of the Sci Fi mini-series snagged 3.9 million viewers on Monday, with its conclusion the following night pulling in 4.5 million viewers. That 4.2 million viewer average makes "Galactica" the third most-watched mini-series in the network's history, behind only "Steven Spielberg Presents Taken" (5.0 million) and "Frank Herbert's Dune" (4.6 million) and ahead of the recent "Children of Dune" (2.7 million). More importantly, it was the first mini-series in the network's history to actually build its viewership between nights.
As for HBO's "Angels," Sunday's three-hour opener saw 4.2 million viewers tune in, earning a 8.6 rating/12 share among homes that subscribe to the channel. Viewership see-sawed throughout the evening with hour one averaging 4.5 million, hour two 3.9 million and the concluding hour 4.0 million. "Angels" also fared well among adults 18-49, snagging 2.3 million viewers in the coveted demographic.
"Angels" and "Galactica" weren't the only cable events this past week. Here's a breakdown of some other cable ratings news:
-- TNT's latest original, "Word of Honor," drew 2.6 million viewers for its Saturday premiere however it fell 100,000 viewers from its lead in - a repeat of the 1997 theatrical, "G.I. Jane."
-- ABC Family's "Picking Up and Dropping Off" fared well for its Sunday premiere, pulling in 2.8 million viewers. While solid, the romantic comedy came in behind October's "Beautiful Girl" (3.1 million).
-- The weekend's two inaugural award shows - Comedy Central's "The Commies" and Spike TV's "Video Game Awards" - fell on opposite ends of the ratings field. Spike's broadcast pulled in 1.2 million viewers, up 77% from its primetime average the previous four weeks while "The Commies" drew just 908,000 total viewers, well behind its usual Sunday numbers.
-- Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown" fell slightly in its second week on Tuesday, going from 1.6 million to 1.3 million total viewers. Lead-out "Queer Eye for the Straight Eye" also took a dip from last week, falling from 2.5 million to 2.0 million.