Showtime show nurses solid numbers

The prognosis for “Nurse Jackie” is very good.

Showtime has given a second season order to the half-hour Edie Falco starrer that bowed Monday to strong numbers behind the season preem of “Weeds.”

“Nurse Jackie” averaged 1.01 million viewers for its premiere 10:30 p.m. airing and then added about 340,000 viewers for an encore. Showtime said the combined 1.35 million viewers for its two airings makes it the network’s most-watched series bow to date.

Meanwhile, the 1.22 million viewers for the fifth-season premiere of comedy “Weeds” was the largest aud for a single airing on the pay cabler so far this year.

On the heels of “Jackie’s” ratings, Showtime confirmed that it has ordered another 12 segs of from Lionsgate TV. Series, which features Falco as a skilled but highly unconventional, painkiller-addicted nurse, was created by Liz Brixius, John Melfi, Linda Wallem and Evan Dunsky. Wallem, Brixius and Caryn Mandabach are exec producers.

Lionsgate TV prexy Kevin Beggs was quick to tout the company’s “incredible hour of programming on Showtime’s Monday night” sked as word of the quick “Nurse Jackie” renewal emerged. “Weeds” also hails from Lionsgate TV.

Also bowing Monday were the season preems of TNT dramas “The Closer” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 7.14 million viewers overall) and “Raising the Bar” (0.9/2, 3.57 million), with the latter retaining just one half of its potent lead-in. “Closer” ranked fourth for its hour in demos and third in total viewers, beating out NBC and Fox.

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