Smoking Ratings for 'Weeds' Return

Weeds (tv program)TelevisionEntertainmentShowtime (tv network)Secret Diary of a Call Girl (tv program)Satellite and Cable ServiceDexter (tv program)

Led by the season premiere of "Weeds" and the series premiere of "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," Monday (June 16) was a record-breaking night for Showtime.

In its first airing at 10 p.m., "Weeds" averaged more than 1.3 million viewers, a 64 percent boost over the show's third season premiere and well over the 488,000 and 578,000 viewers who tuned in for the first and second season premieres.

While last winter's "Dexter" finale drew 1.4 million viewers, that was over multiple airings, while the 1.35 million figure for "Weeds" was on its first airing alone. That makes it Showtime's most-watched single original telecast in at least four years.

Airing at 10:30, the launch of "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" held onto 949,000 viewers. Since Showtime's individual channels were broken out by Nielsen in 2004, that's the premium cable network's most watched season one premiere.

"Call Girl," which stars Billie Piper, beat out the 2004 premiere of "The L Word," which drew 936,000 viewers. As a better point of comparison, "Californication" drew 550,000 viewers in its post-"Weeds" premiere last year, while " Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" did 776,00 viewers when it launched after "The Tudors" in March.

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