Famous families got off to relatively impressive starts as The Kennedys attracted 1.9 million viewers, a record for the relatively obscure basic cable ReelzChannel, and Showtime's The Borgias reeled in 1.49 million total viewers, boosting the pay-cable outlet to a seven-year peak for a dramatic premiere.
And while The Killing failed to match the ratings of The Walking Dead, it still totaled some 4.7 million viewers, good enough to make it the second-biggest AMC debut after the Dead last Halloween.
Greg Kinnear on The Kennedys controversy: "It's been emotional. It's had its ups and downs"
CEO Stan E. Hubbard expressed vindication about the orphaned Kennedys mini Monday. "Viewers across America showed their ongoing fascination with the Kennedy family and, specifically, their desire to see such a star-studded cast in the highly anticipated The Kennedys," he said in a statement. He added that the goal "was to give viewers an opportunity to watch an incredible movie event with massive star power and to also put a spotlight on our network like never before."
On broadcast television, viewers were a little bit country as the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards averaged an audience of 12.96 million.
Sunday night's three-hour show, featuring crossover duets between American Idol judge Steven Tyler and Idol winner Carrie Underwood as well as Rihanna and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, pulled in the night's biggest audience.
See all the Academy of Country Music Awards red carpet arrivals
At 8/7c, ABC's Secret Millionaire (9.7 million) was first runner-up to the first hour of the country music awards, while NBC's America's Next Great Restaurant fed 3.92 million. Repeats of Fox's The Simpsons and Bob's Burgers attracted 4.53 million and 3.81 million, respectively.
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At 9/8c, a new episode of Desperate Housewives lured 8.83 million viewers (vs. 4.2 million for last week's rerun), while Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice recruited 7.78 million viewers in its first hour. A rerun of Fox's Family Guy drew 4.86 million, and a new installment of The Cleveland Show was watched by 4.82 million.
In prime time's final hour, the second half of Celebrity Apprentice finished second with 9.20 million, and Body of Proof — which last week became the second most-watched premiere of the 2010-11 network TV season with 13.85 million viewers — declined to 8.44 million in its second outing. It resumes its usual Tuesday at 10/9c time slot this week.