It was a good enough beginning of the end for TNT’s The Closer, which resumed its seventh and final season on Monday night with 6.1 million total viewers — the largest audience for a returning summer drama — and 1.2 mil landing in the coveted 18-49 demo.
Although that marks a drop of 15 percent in audience from Season 7′s year-ago launch, it is on par with the procedural’s winter 2011 finale.
Perception led out of that with a debut audience of 5.6 million viewers — aka cable’s No. 2 series launch of the year, trailing only TNT’s own Dallas (and edging out FX’s Anger Management). The Eric McCormack-fronted drama held onto 1.1 mil of The Closer‘s 18-49 crowd, while its delivery of adults 25-54 (1.5 million) ranks No. 2 this year (behind Dallas) for a cable drama launch.