‘Nip’ tucks away nice bow

Show averaged 3.7 million viewers

The bow of FX’s plastic surgery drama “Nip/Tuck” stitched up some impressive ratings Tuesday night, snapping up the fifth-highest premiere scores ever among basic cable series.

“Nip” averaged 3.7 million viewers — a 300% increase over FX’s July primetime average, according to Nielsen. Ninety-minute bow, however, didn’t match the premiere numbers delivered by “The Shield,” which drew 4.8 million viewers in March 2002.

“Nip/Tuck” also posted a 2.1 coverage-area rating among its target 18-49 demo. Nationally, its 1.6 rating/5 share in the demo was third among all networks from 10 to 11 — behind only news programs on ABC and NBC.

Series, along with “The Shield,” augments FX as a launching pad for new buzzworthy series. “To now have two of the top five most watched series premieres ever on basic cable with ‘Nip/Tuck’ and ‘The Shield’ says a lot about the strides FX has made over the last two years,” prexy-CEO Peter Liguori said. (Cabler shares that title with USA, which bowed “Dead Zone” and “Monk” in the top five.)

Coming weeks will tell for “Nip/Tuck.” John Corbett Vegas-set dramedy “Lucky” bowed to a decent 1.73 million viewers in its 18-49 target demo but has since tapered off in the ratings, averaging a 0.77 in the same demo last month. Skein is still a contender for renewal, however, thanks in part to last week’s Emmy nom for writing.

Meanwhile, week two ratings for Bravo reality series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” topped last week’s record premiere numbers in adults 25-54 (1.27 million, up from 1.17 million) while virtually matching its premiere scores in both the 18-49 demo (1.15 million) and overall audience (1.57 million viewers).

The debut of A&E’s espionage drama “MI-5,” about an elite squad of Brit spies, averaged 1.8 million viewers in its 9 p.m. slot, repping a 45% boost from the cabler’s primetime average.

Series scored 757,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo and 636,000 in 18-49.

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