The third-season premiere of TNT's cop drama The Closer broke its own record as the most-viewed cable original telecast ever, drawing 8.81 million total viewers (2.91 million of them adults 18-49), according to Nielsen Media Research. That's up 6% in total viewers and 11% in the demo over last year.
New medical drama Heartland lost 51% of its lead-in Closer audience, but it still performed well, with 4.3 million total viewers.
At TBS, the back-to-back episodes that launched Tyler Perry sitcom House of Payne on June 6 were the two most-viewed sitcom telecasts ever on cable, with 5.21 million and 5.82 million viewers. The series fell off significantly in its second week, with back-to-back episodes averaging 2.87 million and 3.48 million, respectively, but the trend of adding viewers in the second half-hour is no joke.
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