Series premiere nabs 5 million viewers

Proving it can successfully launch a series without help from its biggest hit, “The Closer,” TNT scored 5 million viewers for the bow of “Leverage” on Sunday night.

Series, which stars Timothy Hutton as a former insurance adjuster on a Robin Hood-like quest, also garnered 2.1 million adults 18-49 — TNT’s best-ever perf in that demo for an original skein running during the broadcast season.

“Leverage” became the first TNT original series other than “The Closer” itself to launch without the aid of the network’s biggest franchise; the procedural had been used to get previous TNT originals off the ground including “Saving Grace” and “Raising the Bar.” In fact, “Raising the Bar” bowed to a record 7.4 million viewers on Labor Day with “The Closer” as its lead-in.

“Leverage,” however, was not without an effective lead-in itself. In fact, “Leverage” didn’t even score the network’s biggest ratings for the night.

Telepic “The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice” achieved those winning numbers for the net. The third installment of the “Librarian” franchise, which stars Noah Wyle, drew 5.4 million viewers, according to Cable Fast Nationals.

Notably, TNT’s Sunday night sked amounted to the night of Dean Devlin, with the director serving not just as helmer of “The Librarian” franchise but also the pilot episode of “Leverage.”

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