June 18, 2008 / 6:56 AM / 10 years ago

"Weeds" season debut sets Showtime ratings record

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Showtime’s pot-themed comedy series “Weeds” started its fourth season off on a real high, becoming the network’s most-watched telecast on record.

Actress Elizabeth Perkins from the Showtime television series "Weeds" arrives on the red carpet at the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles January 28, 2007. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Meanwhile, the new series “Secret Diary of a Call Girl,” which led out of “Weeds” on Monday night, gave the network its most-watched series debut since 2004, when Nielsen began reporting Showtime ratings separate from Showtime Plex.

“Weeds” averaged 1.3 million total viewers at 10 p.m. Monday, which broke the record held by a Season 2 episode of “Dexter” (1.2 million) that aired in 2007. An 11 p.m. repeat of “Weeds” averaged 406,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.

“Weeds” has seen its season premieres grow from the start. The series bow pulled in 488,000 viewers, while Season 2’s debut averaged 578,000 and Season 3 started out with 824,000.

After “Weeds,” “Call Girl” also did well, dialing up 949,000 total viewers at 10:30 p.m. That beat the series debut of “The L Word” (936,000) in 2004. The last new series to launch in a post-“Weeds” time slot was the comedy “Californication,” which drew 550,000 viewers in its August 13 bow.

Elsewhere, A&E’s “Intervention” averaged 2.1 million viewers with its Season 5 bow at 9 p.m. Monday, marking the most-watched season premiere for the unscripted series. That included 1.5 million viewers in the adults 18-49 demographic and 1.4 million among adults 25-54.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter.

Elizabeth Perkins poses at the premiere of "Fierce People" at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles August 29, 2007. The movie opens in the U.S. on September 14. Showtime's pot-themed comedy series "Weeds" started its fourth season off on a real high, becoming the network's most-watched telecast on record. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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