4 million tune in for premiere

“Burn Notice,” USA Network’s light-touch action hour, performed a rare feat Thursday night, keeping ahold of the 4 million people who tuned in to the show’s premiere June 28.

Multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns can lure large numbers of people to sample the premiere of a new series. But the second week’s Nielsens invariably tail off by 10%-20% as the big marketing bucks go away and people unimpressed by the first episode don’t return.

USA’s programmers helped “Burn Notice,” which stars Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar, overcome the second-week handicaps by slotting the hit movie “National Treasure” as a three-hour lead-in. That Nicolas Cage pic built its audience throughout the three hours, funneling 3.3 million viewers into “Burn Notice.”

“Treasure” delivered more viewers to “Burn Notice” than the premiere-week lead-in, the concluding hour of limited series “The Starter Wife,” which drew 3.1 million viewers.

This week, USA plans to use a rerun episode of “Law & Order: SVU” as the table setter for “Burn Notice.”

Shot in Miami, “Burn Notice” is a Fox TV Studios production in association with Fuse Entertainment. Exec producers are Matt Nix and Mikkel Bondesen.

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