[04/13/07 - 06:28 PM]
Cable Ratings Round-Up (Week of April 2-8): 'Sopranos,' 'Shield' Returns Fade
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The return of HBO's "The Sopranos" (7.66 million, #1) lead all shows on cable last week, despite a nearly 20% drop from its 2006 opener in both total viewers (7.66 million vs. 9.47 million) and adults 18-49 (3.6 rating vs. 4.5 rating). The latter number nevertheless was good enough to snag second place in the Sunday, 9:00/8:00c hour across all networks, broadcast and cable, behind only ABC's "Desperate Housewives" (6.1 rating).

On the flip side, lead-out "Entourage" posted 3.77 million viewers (#T9), a growth of almost 30% from its 2006 season premiere (2.7 million).

Also landing in the top 15: new episodes of USA's "WWE Raw" - Monday at 9:00 (5.8 million, #3) and 10:00 (5.9 million, #2); fresh installments of Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth" - Sunday at 8:00 (4.9 million, #4) and 9:00 (4.8 million, #T5) - and the season premiere of "Deadliest Catch" (3.4 million, #T12); the season finale of VH1's "I Love New York" (4.8 million, #T5); and a new "South Park" on Comedy Central (3.0 million, #T13).

Said "Catch" numbers marked its best numbers ever, not to mention a 30% increase over last year's premiere, while "Love" finished as VH1's second most-watched series to date, behind only the second season of "Flavor of Love."

Meanwhile outside the top 15, week two of Showtime's "The Tudors" tumbled to 775,000 viewers (464,000 for its 10:00/9:00c premiere and another 311,000 for its 11:00/10:00c encore), a 39% drop from its premiere audience (1.28 million), and FX's "The Shield" returned to the tune of 2.1 million viewers, a 38% dip from its fifth season premiere (3.4 million).

  [april 2007]  


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