Nip/Tuck has a smash debut as Queer Eye remains strong
The premiere of the FX network's plastic-surgery drama Nip/Tuck, from out creator Ryan Murphy (Popular), was a cut above the rest in basic cable programming Tuesday, sewing up an impressive 3.7 million viewers. In addition to fending off stiff competition from fellow originals at 10 p.m., including MTV's The Real World and Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, to become the most-watched cable program of the night, Nip became the highest-rated new cable series premiere of the year.
With 2 million viewers in the key demographic of adults 18 to 49 tuning in, Nip snipped FX's losing streak on the original-series front; the half-hour comedy Lucky and late-night series The Orlando Jones Show both flopped in recent months. Nip managed to quadruple the network's average prime-time household rating of a 0.8--losing little steam despite a 90-minute episode that weathered the viewership drop programmers usually see after 11 p.m. But the premiere failed to top the series debut of the FX cop show The Shield, which scored 4.8 million viewers. Nor did it match the second-season premiere of USA Network's Monk, which drew 5.4 million viewers June 20.
Nip got little help from the 7:30 p.m. theatrical Me, Myself & Irene, which notched a 1.4 household rating. Nip's 3.2 rating represented a 129% increase over its lead-in. Queer was no match for Nip, but the Bravo makeover series held up well in its second week on the air. While its 1.6 million total viewers marked a 4% drop from its premiere, 1.3 million viewers aged 25-54 tuned in--a 7% boost over the premiere and the highest rating in that demographic in Bravo history. At 9 p.m., the series premiere of the A&E espionage drama MI-5 drew 1.8 million total viewers, topping the network's prime-time average by 45%. In 18-49, 636,000 viewers watched, a 99% improvement over A&E's prime-time average in that demo.