TNT was on the side of the angels Monday night, drawing big ratings for the premiere of "Saving Grace."
The show, which stars Oscar winner Holly Hunter as a fast-living Oklahoma City cop, drew 6.4 million viewers for its premiere. That's the biggest audience for a cable series premiere this year, and in numbers of households, it's third all-time for a series debut on ad-supported cable, trailing only the premieres of "The Closer" in 2005 and USA's "The 4400" in 2004.
"'The Closer' and 'Saving Grace' form a stellar combination in terms of great storytelling, outstanding performances from two extraordinary actresses, critical acclaim and popularity among viewers," says Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. "We are proud that 'Saving Grace' has come out of the gate with such a strong showing."
Airing at 10 p.m. Monday, "Saving Grace" retained close to 90 percent of the 7.29 million people who tuned into "The Closer" the previous hour. That's a big improvement over the June premiere of "Heartland," which lost more than half its "Closer" lead-in.
"Grace" also drew about 1.94 million viewers in the adults 18-49 demographic and 2.47 million adults 25-54.
The show is Hunter's first TV series. She plays Grace Hanadarko, a hard-drinking detective who at a low point asks for divine help, and gets it in the form of a drawling, tobacco-chewing angel (Leon Rippy, "Deadwood"). The show also stars Kenneth Johnson ("The Shield"), Laura San Giacomo ("Just Shoot Me") and Bokeem Woodbine ("City of Angels").Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times