Showtime drama “Ray Donovan” continued its hot ratings start Sunday night, becoming the network’s first drama ever to build upon its series premiere.
Sunday’s second episode of the Liev Schreiber-fronted show averaged 1.56 million viewers in its regular 10 p.m. timeslot —up 16% from its debut (1.35 million), which was already the most-watched Showtime drama premiere. A pair of repeats late Sunday night combined to draw more than 500,000 viewers, bringing the nightly total to about 2.2 million.
Some of the growth for the regular-timeslot telecast could be due to the fact that a lot of viewers may have seen the pilot episode of “Ray Donovan” before it made its Showtime premiere. The show was sampled across multiple platforms in the two weeks leading up to its debut; and within that period, an additional 816,000 Showtime subscribers sampled the series via Showtime on Demand and Showtime Anytime.
Complete DVR playback data isn’t in for the premiere episode of “Ray Donovan,” but Showtime notes that it is already pacing nearly 50% ahead of “Homeland’s” freshman-season premiere week. The network puts the drama’s current first-episode viewership at 4.25 million.
Leading into “Ray Donovan” on Sunday was vet “Dexter” (2.52 million), which was up a bit from its season premiere (2.48 million). This is “Dexter’s” final season, and last week’s premiere was the most popular in the show’s eight-year run.