FX's Shield Boots USA's Zone

FX's The Shield came out blazing with the Nielsens, as the
second-season debut of the gritty police drama posted a number of ratings

The Golden-Globe nominated drama series -- starring Emmy Award-winner Michael
Chiklis, who is also in the running for a Globe for best actor -- earned a 3.6
household rating Jan. 7 from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. and was watched by 4.4 million
total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

Those performances made it the highest-rated and most-watched second-season
premiere of an original drama in basic-cable history, according to FX

It was No. 1 for the night among adults 18 through 49 with some 3.2 million
of those watchers.

The Shield knocked the second-season premiere of USA Network's The
Dead Zone
out of the Nielsen book.

That series -- based on the Stephen King novel of the same name -- had laid
claim to the mantle of the most-watched second-season debut of a drama when its
Jan. 5 airing scored a 3.2 household rating and some 4.1 million viewers,
according to Nielsen.

Ironically, the series debut of Dead Zone registered a 4.7 household
rating June 16 -- the best ever for a basic-cable series premiere and a number
that turned the table on the 4.1 The Shield shot up when it bowed March

The second-season start for The Shield surpassed its first-season
household ratings average of 2.8 by 29 percent and was ahead 39 percent in
adults 18 through 49 (a 2.3 average).

The premiere installments of Dead Zone's first season averaged a 3.14
household rating, according to USA.