USA’s ‘Covert Affairs’ opens strong

A day after TNT’s “Rizzoli and Isles” opened big, cable has another successful debut under its belt: USA’s “Covert Affairs,” which landed cable’s top adult 18-49 premiere numbers of the year.

“Covert Affairs” averaged 2.1 million viewers in that demo, and attracted 4.9 million viewers overall. USA took noted that “Covert” beat other high-profile cable launches, such as “Rizzoli” (which is still the year’s viewers champ), “Justified,” “Memphis Beat” and “The Glades.”

“Covert” grew 14% from its “White Collar” lead-in among viewers.

As for “White Collar,” show’s second season opened with a decent 4.3 million — up 12% from its winter average, but nonetheless a 20% drop from its premiere last year. Show was up against tough competish, however, including Discovery’s highly-promoted special episode of “Deadliest Catch.”

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