FX series down audience for season 3 opener

FX saw its hot streak end Monday night when the season three premiere of “Damages” got off to a rough start.

Glenn Close starrer drew only 1.4 million viewers, down 17% from season two’s debut episode. In the 18-49 demo, numbers were even more disheartening for the basic cabler: Skein took a 41% tumble as only 428,000 in the demo tuned in compared to 718,000 on Jan. 7, 2009.

“Damages” has twice been Emmy nominated — and Close has scored two statues — yet the show has always been ratings challenged. Net is quick to point out that many watch on DVR more than seven days past its original airing and later on DVD. In both instances, those viewers aren’t accounted for when figuring out the total aud.

Series, which shifted to Mondays, was given a two-season renewal after season one, and a determination will be made following this season’s 13 episodes whether the show will continue. Season finale is set to air in April.

FX has fared well of late. Second season of motorcycle club drama “Sons of Anarchy” was a hit, and the premiere of animated laffer “Archer” also performed nicely in its debut.

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