The fourth season debut of Californication on Sunday brought in 848,000 viewers — the show's biggest audience for a season premiere. Between the first and encore airings, the episode drew 1.12 million viewers.
At 10, the premiere of Shameless drew 982,000 viewers, making it Showtime's biggest drama series debut in seven years. The Matt LeBlanc comedy Episodes premiered to 902,000 viewers at 9:30.
Jersey Shore premiere is MTV's highest series telecast ever
Elsewhere on Sunday, the run-over of the close playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles — which pulled in some 33 million people — gave Fox's animated block a running start and helped the network win the night. The Simpsons held on to 12.7 million viewers at 8, its highest numbers this season. The debut of Bob's Burgers served 9.4 million at 8:30.
In the first hour of prime time, CBS' 60 Minutes attracted 10.5 million viewers, beating all but football: America's Funniest Home Videos (7.5 million) and Dateline: NBC (4 million). [The two newsmagazines devoted much of their time to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.]
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At 8, CBS' CSI: Miami lured 11.9 million viewers, besting ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (9.1 million) and a second hour of Dateline (7.2 million).
ABC's Desperate Housewives (12.7 million viewers) took the 9 o'clock timeslot versus CBS' Undercover Boss (11.6 million). Meantime, Fox's animation block continued to lose viewers — Family Guy (9.2 million) and The Cleveland Show (7.3 million) — though both shows also saw season highs.
The two-hour premiere of NBC's The Cape starting at 9/8c averaged 8.4 million viewers. At 10, it ran a close second to Brothers & Sisters (8.4 million) and outperformed a Criminal Minds rerun (7.1 million).