Along with the return of “Dexter” for its eighth and final season, Showtime had a strong Sunday night.
The viewer tally for “Ray Donovan” was an all-time high for a drama premiere on Showtime, beating the previous record-holder, “Homeland,” which had an audience of 1.08 million for its debut in October 2011, Deadline said. (By way of comparison, the premiere of Season Two of “Homeland” in September 2012 drew 1.75 million viewers, the Web site noted.)
“Ray Donovan” stars Liev Schreiber as a Hollywood “fixer” — a man who is part private investigator and part enforcer who is assigned by a powerful law firm to “clean up” various messes afflicting the firm’s celebrity clients before the messes become public.
The show’s debut likely benefited from the publicity campaign Showtime mounted for the show over the last few weeks, combined with mostly favorable reviews. In addition, it likely benefited from its “Dexter” lead-in. That show, starring Michael C. Hall, started its eighth and final season Sunday night at 9/8c, before “Ray Donovan” at 10/9c.
“Dexter” drew 2.5 million viewers, Deadline reported — up from the Season Seven premiere which had 2.4 million viewers.
The Deadline story noted that viewership for “Ray Donovan” reached 2.22 million viewers when you factor in a second airing of the premiere later on Sunday evening.