William H. Macy's portrayal of polluted patriarch Frank Gallagher often can't during the episodes, but Shameless is standing tall against tough competition as Showtime's top rookie drama entry ever.
The original series' fourth installment on Jan. 30 averaged 1.11 million in its 10 p.m. premiere window, its strongest performance to date. The encore followed with 345,000 in the hour immediately after, according to Nielsen data.
Sunday night's premiere helped make Shameless -- which has faced off against such fare as the Golden Globes, AFC Championship Game, SAG Awards and NFL Pro Bowl during its first month -- the premium network's top-performing freshman series ever, including such shows as Dexter, Dead Like Me, The Tudors and The L Word, in the 10 p.m. hour, according to network officials.
composition for Shameless, which will encounter the Super Bowl and The Grammys the next two Sunday nights, is shifting, posting advances among young viewers, as the fourth episode grew 53% among persons 18 to 34, 69% with women of that age and 45% with guys in the group, when gauged against the Jan. 9 series premiere, which pulled in 982,000 watchers at 10 p.m. and 1.3 million overall on its first night.
Factoring in on-demand, encores and DVR viewing, Shameless gathered 3.6 million watchers during its first week, the biggest debut for a Showtime freshman drama, according to the network.
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