Jason Lee cop drama, 'Hawthorne' off to solid start

TNT, set for a busy summer of originals, saw Jason Lee starrer “Memphis Beat” open to 4.3 million viewers Tuesday night.

Elsewhere in ratings Tuesday, Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 5.37m) drew a record aud in both the 18-49 (2.55 million) and 25-54 (2.99 million) demos. It was cable’s top show of the night in 18-49 and all male demos, and also beat out in 18-49 the premiere of ABC’s gameshow “Downfall” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 5.67m).

The Warner Horizon Television show, about a cop who has an intimate connection to the city, will face a tough challenge come July 13 when USA Network launches “Covert Affairs” in the same timeslot. Cablers are quick to offer their dramas in summer when the broadcast nets are offering a diet of mostly reality fare with few original scripted skeins as well.

Total viewers for “Memphis Beat” were better than the season-two premiere of TNT’s “Hawthorne,” which drew an audience of 3.4 million on Sunday and was slightly above its first-season average. Skein stars Jada Pinkett Smith as a impassioned nurse at a failing hospital. Also on Sunday for TNT, the premiere of “Leverage” drew 3.1 million viewers.

The Turner cabler closed out Holly Hunter series “Saving Grace” on Monday with back-to-back episodes, with the 10 p.m. finale drawing 2.5 million viewers. Last year, Fox Television Studios, which owns the show, decided to end the series after three seasons because it wasn’t profitable enough on the international and ancillary side.

On its upcoming slate, TNT has set July 12 to mark the season-six preem of “The Closer” and series debut of “Rizzoli & Isles,” a crime drama starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.

“The Closer” remains the top drama attraction on TNT with last season’s premiere drawing 7.1 million viewers.

And at ABC Family, “Pretty Little Liars” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.74m) continues to hit a bullseye with its target aud, ranking as television’s top series on Tuesday among femmes 12-34 (3.4/13). In its third episode, it achieved series-best scores in numerous key categories.

Top shows of the night in key broad demos were NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” (3.4/10 in 18-49, 11.65m) and ABC’s season premiere of “Wipeout” (3.1/1, 9.52m); latter is skedded to air twice a week this summer, serving as the lead-in to “Downfall” on Tuesday and new cop drama “Rookie Blue” on Thursday.

(Rick Kissell contributed to this report.)

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