Cable Ratings: Showtime's Dexter Carves Way Past 1M Mark

Showtime's Dexterpremiered its second season to just more than 1 million viewers Sunday night, the first time a premiere on the pay cable network has drawn that big of an audience since 2004 and 67% more than the season-one debut drew.

The 9 p.m. episode ranked as the series' second-most-viewed telecast behind last year's season finale, which drew 1.08 million, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Brotherhood, which premiered its second season at 10 p.m., didn't do nearly as well. The episode lost more than one-half of its lead-in audience, averaging 371,000 total viewers. It was also down from the season-one premiere, which averaged 454,000.

Elsewhere in cable ratings, Tuesday brought third-quarter numbers for the basic-cable networks, and non-ad-supported Disney Channel ran away with a win. The network averaged 3.2 million total viewers in primetime, up 19% over last year on the strength of High School Musical 2and Hannah Montana.

Disney was followed by ad-supported channels USA Network, with an average 2.7 million (down 4% from last year); TNT, with 2.5 million (down 4%); ESPN, with 2.1 million (up 4%); TBS, with 1.7 million (up 7%); and Lifetime Television, with 1.5 million (down 10%).