Cable Premiere Ratings: How Did White Collar, Justified and Southland Fare?

The ratings for Tuesday night’s three big cable premieres have trickled in, and USA Network’s White Collar perhaps got off to the strongest start.

The “blue sky” procedural’s excellent midseason premiere drew 3.2 million total viewers, with 1.4 mil falling into the coveted 18-to-49 demo. That’s a loss of some eyeballs versus both its summer opener and a tiny dip in the demo, yet it qualified as Tuesday’s No. 1 cable drama. Elizabeth Burke, meanwhile, qualifies as TV’s No. 1 law enforcement wife, amiright?

FX’s Justified targeted 3.1 million total viewers, with 1.3 mil of ‘em landing in the 18-to-49 sweet spot. That’s down double digits from the acclaimed drama’s Season 2 premiere, but up 16 and 9 percent versus the sophomore run’s overall average.

TNT’s Southland, meanwhile, copped 1.8 million total viewers, with 783,000 landing in the 18-to-49 demo — down 14 and 11 percent from the show’s Season 3 opener.

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30 Comments
  1. Alex says:

    Oh no – is it time to start worrying about Southland already? :(

    • George says:

      Well South land and The Closer are TNT only critically acclaimed shows. So it’s not possibly going to have to get the same big numbers as Rizzoli and Isles to get a renewal.

  2. DL says:

    More people need to watch Southland, seriously! In my opinion, it’s the best show on television, across the board, and certainly the best cop show, without question. The premiere was one of the best episodes to date, and that’s really tough to do considering Southland is consistently stellar.
    Matt, if those numbers hold steady, would it be enough for a potential renewal, or are we looking at the last season of Southland?

  3. Ryan says:

    White Collar scored a 1.1 18-49 rating it was 1.4 million actual 18-49 viewers

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Yes, an edit has been made. I need to work on my penmanship as I jot down notes.

    • CJ says:

      White Collar also tends to do well when the +3 and +7 numbers come in, especially when it’s in the later 10pm time slot. A lot of time shifting going on. And it really was a good episode so people need to WATCH!

  4. Musica1 says:

    The White Collar mid seaon premiere was amazing! Can’t wait for the rest of the season.

  5. Todd says:

    By putting all these great shows up against each other in the same timeslot on Tuesday they are all losing eyeballs that they each deserve.

  6. Deena says:

    White Collar is one of the most fun & entertaining shows on TV. The premier did not disappoint. I really hope it continues to do well.

  7. Chuck says:

    Southland is a great show and clearly the best cop show on TV.

    • Sherry says:

      Southland is great-the best show on TV, I think–and I’m SO glad TNT renewed it…but I didn’t necessarily think the 2012 premiere was up to par; I was slightly underwhelmed. Once the story line expands, I expect it to be as intriguing as ever.

  8. Travis says:

    All three of these shows are some of the best on television. If it weren’t for DVR I’d be really upset that they are competing with each other. I hope the network’s greed to rule the time slot doesn’t eventually kill these shows.

  9. kevin says:

    Southland is still one of the best cop drama I’ve seen in recent years. Hope this gritty series will survive throughout the whole season if TNT plans to renew it for Season Five depending on the status of its ratings.

    • Winnie says:

      I would hope TNT would let SouthLAnd finish as it should, especially since I loved that they saved the show from what happened at NBC.

  10. Linda says:

    White Collar is my favorite series right now!

  11. Meaghan says:

    Showing some love for Justified. In my opinion it is the best show on TV. Already can’t wait until next week!

  12. s says:

    I love White Collar and Southland but in Canada we do not get the USA network. TNT we get but you have to pay tons for it…Canadian channels were airing each a season behind but that stopped awhile ago

  13. Jake says:

    I still find it shocking that NBC gave up on this show, bet it would love the ratings it got back then. Such a great cast and superb storylines

  14. Anne says:

    On “White Collar”, I really like that Elizabeth used her wits to give them clues and to escape on her own, instead of just waiting for them to come rescue her. She’s a great character and they should give her more screen time. Tiffani Thiessen (sp?) has the most gorgeous blue eyes.

  15. KerriM says:

    Southland is the best show on t.v.! It’s the only show that I’d go ballistic over if my husband deleted it from the dvr; in fact, it’s the only show, I think, worthy of the dvr!

  16. Bad Breaker says:

    I hope Justified doesn’t fall victim to a post-Margo Martindale slump the way Dexter did after the John Lithgow season. Having an amazing villain can really make a season.

    • Linda says:

      I think you need not be concerned. I think Quarles, Limehouse, and Nix (so far) will do nicely in the bad guy dept…and then we have our beloved forever nemisis…Boyd Crowder. Face it we all love Justified and season 3 is better than season 2 which is just so amamzing.

  17. CKC says:

    Justified is the best show on television by far. Timothy Olyphant is fantastic as Marshall Givens! Can’t wait for the next episode!

  18. Terry says:

    All three of these shows are so much better than what the major networks are offering these days. Justified and Southland had two of the strongest premiers of any shows I have seen this year.

  19. Ryan says:

    I got an offer to watch the Southland premiere online from EW. That was a week before the show actually aired. Therefore I did not have to find room for it on my DVR with White Collar, Justified, PArenthood and everything else on Tuesdays at 10. That time slot is getting super difficult for me. I’ve recently decided to give up Body of Proof in favor of all these superb cable shows.

  20. Paige says:

    I would love to know how Southland’s numbers for the season 3 finale compared to season 4 premiere. I don’t remember what the ratins were for season 3. It’s possible that the numbers went up as the season goes along.

  21. Linda says:

    I can not believe how few are speaking up for Justified that had such a strong premiere for season 3. They answered the question…we do miss Mags but we came back even better (how the heck they do it blows us away)with fascinating bad guys, good romance, well written storylines and the greatest cast EVER. Thank you to Yost, FX and mostly to Timothy Olyphant…our beloved Raylan Givens.

  22. Amy says:

    I don’t really like White Collar anymore. S1 was it’s best season. It’s not as exciting or witty anymore.

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