TNT Keeps 'Franklin & Bash' on Retainer

Lawyer show second summer effort to win renewal

TNT has re-upped the underwhelming freshman buddy dramedy Franklin & Bash for a second season, ordering up another run of 10 episodes.

The series, which stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer as a pair of bro-tastic lawyers, has averaged 2.63 million live-plus-same-day viewers in the course of its first eight episodes. While far from spectacular, Franklin & Bash has been remarkably consistent; its most recent episode drew 2.34 million viewers on July 20, retaining 85 percent of its premiere delivery (2.75 million on June 1).

When seven days of time-shifted viewing are factored in, Franklin & Bash has averaged 3.9 million viewers per episode.

This marks the second TNT effort for Gosselaar, who starred in the 2008-09 series Raising the Bar. Gosselaar became a household name with his portrayal of the scheming sociopath Zack Morris on NBC’s hallucinatory 1988-94 triptych Good Morning, Miss BlissSaved by the Belland Saved by the Bell: The College Years.

TNT’s big new summer draw has been the Steven Spielberg-produced alien invasion drama, Falling Skies. The show has averaged 4.4 million viewers since bowing to 5.91 million on June 19.

Earlier this month, Turner renewed Falling Skies for a second season.

Two familiar series have been responsible for putting up the biggest numbers for TNT. The Closer returned for its seventh and final season on July 11, drawing 7.23 million viewers, while sophomore drama Rizzoli & Isles came out of the gate with an average draw of 6.38 million viewers.

With another two months to go before the 2011-12 broadcast season gets under way, cable’s new class of summer dramas has been a mixed bag. USA Network has served up two new series, bowing the legal drama Suits to 4.64 million viewers on June 23 and following up with the Callie Thorne vehicle Necessary Roughness, which drew 4.67 million viewers on June 29.

Through five episodes, Suits has averaged 4.36 million viewers, while Roughness has served up 4.32 million over the course of four installments.

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