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‘Rizzoli & Isles’ has biggest ad-supported cable launch of all time

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Female cops rejoice! TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” raised the bar by becoming the biggest ad-supported cable launch of all time. (Disney, which has had bigger debuts, is not ad supported.)

The cop drama starring Angie Harmon drew 7.6 million viewers, holding almost the entire audience of “The Closer” (7.7 million), which opened its sixth season Monday right before “Rizzoli And Isles.”

“The tremendous viewer response to Rizzoli & Isles is very gratifying,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in a press release. “Rizzoli & Isles is shaping up to be a great companion for The Closer, which continues to deliver extraordinary numbers in its sixth season on our network.”

Of course, the question is now: how many folks will stick around in coming weeks? TNT’s “Raising the Bar,” a legal drama starring Mark-Paul Gosselar, over Labor Day in 2008 actually drew more viewers: 7.7 million. But that show aired commercial free. Its viewership then droped off sharply and the series only lasted two seasons.

“The Closer” had its biggest season debut season three in 2007 with 8.2 million viewers, followed by 7.8 million season four, 7.1 million season five and now 7.7 million season six. Its fans are clearly consistently loyal.

9 comments Add your comment

old teach

July 13th, 2010
6:08 pm

“The Closer” is a great program, with great stories, great dialogue, and amazing chemistry. And “Rizzoli And Isles” is off to a good start. But the dialogue needs polishing. The character differences between the two ladies must be developed; there’s a lot of comedy to be mined. Anyway, I look forward to next week’s show.

Hannah

July 13th, 2010
7:04 pm

I thought it was good! Harmon reminds me of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality and Isles reminds me of Bones…But it always takes the first season to really develop characters. I’m picky about my TV but I’ll definitely keep watching.

joe

July 13th, 2010
8:02 pm

i quit watching about mid-way through. same story i’ve seen on many police shows before. not a good show, will have trouble holding it’s audience.

KLM

July 13th, 2010
8:20 pm

LOVE Angie Harmon. She was my favorite ADA on Law & Order. Will watch anything she is on!!!

dick estrada

July 14th, 2010
12:26 am

watched the pilot and thought that the story line was a mishmash of episodes of criminal minds, saving grace and other crime series. it did not have a soul of its own. the dog scene was just like ncis “dog tag” the flashback was like criminal minds series with dr. reid’s abduction. i might give it one more shot before not watching it anymore

Martina

July 14th, 2010
12:58 pm

Actually, the pilot was based on the book The Apprentice by Tess Gerritson and followed the book plot pretty well , so to say it’s a mishmash of various other crime show plots means that they probably stole it first!

Gary

July 14th, 2010
4:30 pm

Could be all those Closer fans just stuck around to check out the new show and, if they were like me, were very unimpressed. Neither the writing nor the chemistry among the characters compares favorably with Closer. The plot seemed to be a tired retread of several other psycho/murder/fetish stories, evoking a “Hannibal wannabe” drama. I dont see it lasting unless it gets a whole lot better.

DT

July 14th, 2010
4:32 pm

I became bore midway through. I did watch whole episode. I think Angie Harmon’s character is a little too manly. Her character needs to be tone down some.

FD

July 15th, 2010
10:04 am

I thought the show was a little too slow. It has no pop to it like “Dark Blue.”