From the "Hot Off The Press" Thread (top of 'HDTV Programming' page). Nielsen Overnights (Cable)A killer series finale for ‘Dexter’Showtime drama posts a series-high 2.8 million viewers
The series finale of “Dexter” became the most-watched program in Showtime history last night despite facing CBS’s Emmy awards and NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” on Sunday.
The eighth-season ender drew 2.8 million total viewers in the 9 p.m. timeslot, 13 percent better than the 2.5 million who tuned into the season-eight premiere over the summer.
The show was also up 100,000 over the season seven finale, the previous most-watched episode of “Dexter.”
It marked the biggest audience for a Showtime original program in the network’s history.
Another 500,000 viewers caught replays of the program later in the night as well.
“Dexter” is averaging 6.4 million total viewers per week across multiple platforms, including Showtime on demand and online viewing, up from 6.1 million last season.
The huge lead-in from “Dexter” lifted “Ray Donovan” to some strong numbers as well. The drama closed its first season with 2.1 million viewers, the best-ever finale for a first-year series on Showtime, outpacing even “Homeland.”
“Donovan,” which has already been renewed for a second season, averaged 1.4 million viewers per episode, an all-time high for a new Showtime series.
Clearly the strong competition on broadcast, including the Emmy Awards and a “Sunday Night Football” game, both of which drew more than 15 million total viewers, didn’t hurt cable’s numbers last night.
Here are some other highlights from last night’s cable overnights:
* “Breaking Bad” was in the odd position of competing with itself. The penultimate episode of the hugely popular AMC drama aired opposite the Emmys, where “Bad” earned its first-ever best drama trophy.
Evidently the Emmys didn’t woo away “Bad” fans. The show hit a series high for the third time this season and second straight week, drawing 6.6 million total viewers, 200,000 more than last week. That included 4.3 million adults 18-49 for the 75-minute episode, which started at 9 p.m.
The series finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. AMC is airing every single episode from seasons one to four starting Wednesday at 8 p.m. and continuing through Friday night. The marathon will start up again with season five beginning at 11 p.m. Saturday and leading up to the series finale.
*Lifetime’s “Devious Maids” hit a series-high 3 million total viewers and 1.4 million 18-49s in its first-season finale. The show, which airs at 9 p.m., has already been renewed for a second season. Its viewership increased by 50 percent since its first-season premiere.
*E!’s “Live from the Red Carpet” Emmy countdown show from 6 to 8 p.m. averaged 1.5 million total viewers, tying with last year as the most-watched pre-Emmy telecast since 2006.http://www.medialifemagazine.com/killer-series-finale-dexter/