TNT Orders a Second Helping of ‘Dallas’; Sheen Scores for FX

Turner net also renews cop drama ‘Rizzoli & Isles’

Just three episodes into its premiere run, TNT’s Dallas reboot has earned a second season order.

The Turner network has ordered 15 episodes from Warner Horizon Television, with plans to bow them sometime in 2013.

After debuting June 13 to 6.86 million viewers and 1.93 million adults 18-to-49, Dallas’ deliveries in week two fell 30 percent, with an average draw of 4.76 million viewers. The demo was more stable, dropping 17 percent to 1.61 million adults 18-to-49.

Episode three also showed slippage, although the declines weren’t as severe. On June 27, Dallas served up 4.08 million viewers and a 1.1 rating in the demo. In head-to-head competition at 9 p.m. Wednesday, USA Network’s Royal Pains drew 4.18 million viewers and a 1.1 rating.

Dallas’ reach is encouraging, but its demo deliveries are disproportionately low. Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, members of the dollar demo accounted for just 28 percent of the premiere’s overall audience. Meanwhile, adults 25-to-54 made up 36 percent of the first night’s deliveries—that's a lot of empty calories compared to most primetime shows.

Three days of time-shifted viewing elevated the two-hour series opener’s overall reach to some 7.8 million viewers. 

Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and TCM, characterized Dallas as “a success for us on every level.”

TNT on Friday also renewed its original drama Rizzoli & Isles for a fourth season. Through the first four episodes of season three, R&I has averaged 5.38 million viewers and 1.75 million adults 25-to-54.

Like Dallas, R&I is an older-skewing show. People between the age of 25 and 54 comprise only one-third of the series’ L+SD deliveries.

While R&I’s deliveries are down a bit (12 percent) versus the year-ago period, it’s worth noting that the show no longer enjoys the lead-in audience once afforded by The Closer. This summer, repeats of earlier episodes of R&I are setting the table for the show’s Tuesday 9 p.m. time slot.

Elsewhere on the cable dial, FX on Thursday struck gold with the premiere of Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management. Episode 1 now stands as the most-watched comedy opener in cable history, scaring up 5.47 million viewers, of which 2.65 million were members of the target demo.

A second installment of Anger Management fared even better, delivering 5.74 million viewers and 2.89 million adults 18-to-49.  

When FX made its bid for the series last October, it ordered a preliminary run of 10 episodes, with the provision to buy 90 more should the show hit its ratings guarantees. Given Thursday night’s numbers, it’s a dead certainty that Charlie Sheen is going to appear on a TV screen near you for at least the next two years.

Leading out of the Sheen Machine, the season two premiere of Wilfred delivered 2.53 million viewers and 1.5 million members of the demo (up 71 percent from its year-ago average), while Louie drew 1.43 million viewers and 911,000 adults 18-to-49. That marks a 41 percent improvement in the demo versus the show’s season two average.

Lastly, the series premiere of FX’s new late night comedy BrandX with Russell Brand got off to a strong start in the 11 p.m. time slot with 1.1 million viewers and 687,000 adults 18-to-49, which marked respective increases of 32 percent and 38 percent versus the network’s time-period average.