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September 04, 2008

'The Shield' premiere is lowest-rated ever

This is sad.

The Tuesday night premiere of FX's final season of "The Shield" was its lowest-rated debut ever (2.1 million viewers, 1.0 rating among adults 18 to 49, 3 share), down a tenth from the sixth season bow. As previously gushed-about,  the first eight episodes are excellent. Even after factoring that declines are to be expected in a heavily serialized show this many years deep, you can still point fingers at FX for the 15-month delay of this seventh and final season, which was longer than what was strictly necessary. Executives had their reasons, but its tough to see the show being well served by the additional months on the shelf.

FX's new show, "Sons of Anarchy," performed stronger (1.2/3) during its Wednesday night debut despite deservedly mixed reviews. "Sons" outpaced FX's "Damages" in the demo, though "Damages" performed better in total viewers.

>> Elsewhere on cable, ABC Family's "Secret Life of the American Teenager"  continues to perform well (1.3/4). Even up against the first hour of "90210" on Tuesday, "Life" had its second-largest rating ever.

>> Looks like Bravo's "Top Design" (0.7/2) isn't going to be filling those big "Runway" shoes anytime soon. Wednesday night's second season premiere was off 47% from the finale of "Shear Genius" in the same time period and fell 30% from its January series premiere (which aired in a different time period).


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