‘Housewives’ clean house in finale

'Hawthorne' off to fairly good start

TNT’s nurse drama “Hawthorne” got off to a fairly good start on Tuesday, but the night’s standout was Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” which went out with a bang.

The table-flipping season finale of “Housewives” delivered the hot franchise’s best ratings to date, standing as Tuesday’s top-rated program among young adults. Also clicking on cable was Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch,” which tied for the demo lead in the 9 o’clock hour.

According to Nielsen nationals, “Real Housewives of New Jersey” averaged a 1.9 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 3.48 million viewers overall — becoming the net’s top-rated Tuesday telecast in the demo since “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” in 2003.

Add in the additional 1.13 million viewers who watched an encore at 11 p.m., and Bravo says it’s the largest same-night aud for a “Housewives” telecast to date.

It was the night’s No. 1 program in 18-49, edging out repeat crime programming on CBS and NBC. And in its own 10 o’clock timeslot, it more than doubled the delivery of firstrun dramas on TNT and ABC.

Bravo knows it has a good thing in “Housewives,” skedding four original episodes of reunion specials and extended footage with the Jersey girls; the first airs tonight.

Elsewhere, Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.63m) continues to perform very well, tying with a repeat of CBS’ “The Mentalist” for the 18-49 lead at 9 p.m. and standing as the evening’s No. 1 program in men 18-49 (2.3/7).

Over at TNT, Jada Pinkett Smith medical drama “Hawthorne” bowed at 9 p.m. with a 1.2/4 in 18-49 and 3.83 million viewers overall. Though not huge, it’s better in the demo than January’s bow of “Trust Me” or the 2007 launch of “Heartland.”

Perf is more impressive since it got little help from lead-in “Wedding Day.” The net’s first unscripted foray, Mark Burnett’s “Wedding Day” settled for a 0.3/1 in 18-49 and 853,000 viewers overall — easily TNT’s lowest-rated bow in years.

“Wedding Day” and “Hawthorne” were part of an ambitious all-original night of programming at the cabler. The third-season premiere of Holly Hunter drama “Saving Grace” closed things out at 10 (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.47m), declining from its “Hawthorne” lead-in and down from last year’s opener (1.2/4, 5.16m) when it had a lead-in from “The Closer.”

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