January 9, 2012

THE SKED: “House of Lies” Off (Truthfully) To Good Start

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Showtime had a very solid premiere Sunday for its winter series.  The night was highlighted by a fine debut for HOUSE OF LIES, the Don Cheadle management consultant comedy, which had over 1.03 million viewers in its initial broadcast (this is total viewers, not 18-49, which we won’t have until tomorrow and which will be considerably lower).  That was slightly lower than the 1.08 million who tuned into the first airing of Homeland, but as Showtime was quick to note, Homeland had a higher Dexter lead-in, and more people watched the multiple airings of House of Lies in the course of its evening than they did Homeland‘s.  Those who like to parse numbers Talmudically might note that as the night wears on, half-hour repeats are more likely to be watched than one-hours, but we’ll let Showtime have its statistical point. 

Even better for the network was the tremendous increase for SHAMELESS in its second-season premiere.  Its 1.58M viewers were a whopping 61% above the 1st season premiere in January 2011, and shows that the enjoyably irresponsible series has found a real following.  
On the downside, though, CALIFORNICATION didn’t hold the House of Lies lead-in all that well, dropping about 25% of its audience and coming in about 11% below last year’s premiere (which had the lower lead-in of the 2011 Shameless start).  
As is usually the case, we’ll know more next week when the shows are done with their marketing boosts and prove how loyal an audience they’re actually holding onto.  

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."