Nurse_jackie_201-202_1670 Us_tara_203-204_0844 Showtime's heavily promoted Edie Falco halfhour, "Nurse Jackie," kicked off season two Monday with a new ratings high, drawing 19% more total viewers (1.52 million combined in its 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. airings) than its season one finale.

The audience for "Jackie" was also 13% higher than the series premiere June 8. The 10 p.m. broadcast drew 1.08 million, and the 11 p.m. repeat added another 437,000.

Showtime saw some ratings decline from Falco and "Jackie" to 2009 Emmy-winner Toni Collette and the second-season premiere of "United States of Tara," which immediately followed "Jackie." In two airings, "Tara" attracted 1.17 million viewers, a number Showtime said was "on par" with the series premiere 14 months ago.

Full disclosure: Showtime has not acted on my idea, which I came up with just this second, for a "Jackie"-"Tara" crossover episode. But somehow I think the characters would hit it off.

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