Ratings for FX's 'Shield' Slip in Final-Season Premiere

The seventh and final season of FX’s gritty cop series The Shield drew 2.1 million viewers in its Sept. 2 premiere, slightly down from last year’s season premiere.

The series, which stars Michael Chiklis (left) as tough cop Vick Mackey, was down 8% from the 2.2 million viewers (live plus seven-day figure) the show drew for its April 2007 season six debut episode.

The show also drew 1.2 million 18-49 year olds, down 17% from the 1.4 million live plus seven-day number the show drew last season, according to FX.

FX spokesman John Solberg said those numbers could match or even surpass last year’s figures once the DVR numbers are factored in.

FX's newest series, Sons Of Anarchy performed slightly better than The Shield, drawing 2.5 million viewers and 1.5 million viewers in the 18-49 demo during its Sept. 3 series premiere episode.

But the show, which follows the exploits of a motorcycle club, fell short of other FX series premieres, including Rescue Me (4.0 million), The Riches (3.8 million) and Dirt (3.7 million), the latter of which the network cancelled this past June.

Nevertheless, Solberg said the show performed well in light of the fact that it competed in the 10 p.m. ET hour against the highly-rated speech from Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin during the political party’s national convention. During the hour, coverage of the speech from cable news networks Fox News, MSNBC and CNN drew a combined 7 million viewers within the 18-49 demo, according to FX.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.