USA Network bowed the fifth season of Burn Notice and series premiere of Suits to mixed results on Thursday night.
The "characters" network's venerable spy show averaged 5.2 million watchers on June 23 in the 9 p.m. hour, which was up 20% over its 2010 fall premiere, according to Nielsen live + same day data. That total included 2.3 million persons 18 to 49 and 2.4 million adults 25 to 54, respective gains of 15% and 25% over its fall debut.
However, the fifth-season starter was down 21% from the 6.6 million who watched Burn's Notice's fourth-season opener on June 3, 2010. That was Burn Notice's best season debut. Demo-wise, Thursday night's installment declined 12% from the 2.6 persons 18 to 49 from last June's debut and 17% from 2.9 million adults 25 to 54.
As for newcomer Suits, starring Gabriel Macht as an attorney and Patrick J. Adams as his associate, it garnered 4.6 million watchers, retaining 88% of Burn Notice's lead-in audience. That delivery was 18% above the 3.9 million for Fairly Legal's series bow in January. Suits scored well measured against the Sarah Shahi-starrer, registering a 47% rise to 2 million persons 18 to 49 and 34% amelioration to 2.1 million adults 25 to 54.
All of the Suits munbers didn't measure up against the first two season debuts of Royal Pains, which launched behind Burn Notice.
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