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USA’s ‘Suits’ has sharp debut

Drama premieres to 4.6 million viewers

USA Network’s newest drama “Suits” was a tailor-made fit for the cabler, drawing 4.6 million viewers in its Thursday series premiere.

FX also had a good night, seeing “Wilfred” score the biggest comedy premiere in network history.

Starring Gabriel Macht as an attorney who hires Patrick J. Adams as an associate, “Suits” aired at 10 p.m. immediately following the season five bow of “Burn Notice.”

In addition to the 4.6 million total viewers, up 47% compared to USA Network’s recent “Fairly Legal” debut, “Suits” drew a higher-than-expected 2 million in the 18-49 demo and 2.1 million in 25-54.

Competition Thursday night included the NBA draft on ESPN, as well as “Wilfred” and “Louie” on FX and the season premiere of “Rookie Blue” on ABC.

Cabler was also pleased with the results of “Burn Notice,” which drew 5.2 million viewers, up 20% from the premiere of the fall season. Against last summer’s premiere, however — the fourth season was split into summer and fall — the show was off 22% from the 6.6 million viewers who tuned in for its record-setting bow.

“Suits,” produced by Universal Cable Prods., is exec produced by Doug Liman and David Bartis.

TNT set the cable bar for the year last Sunday when Noah Wyle starrer “Falling Skies” drew a hefty 5.9 million viewers in its two-hour series debut.

Next up for USA Network is “Necessary Roughness,” which debuts Wednesday following the season launch of “Royal Pains.” Series stars Callie Thorne as a Long Island divorcee who gets a job as a therapist for a pro football team.

“Wilfred,” starring Elijah Wood as a man who envisions his neighbor’s dog as a human being, drew 2.5 million viewers, including 1.6 million in the 18-49 demo.

Immediately following “Wilfred” was the second-season debut of “Louie,” which improved on season-one averages. The 1.6 million viewers who watched were 42% up from the series debut a year ago.

Louis C.K. stars, writes and directs the Gotham-based FX laffer. He also exec produces with M. Blair Breard and Dave Becky.

“Wilfred,” exec produced by showrunner David Zuckerman, Rich Frank, Paul Frank, Jeff Kwatinetz, Joe Connor and Ken Connor, is based on the Australian series of the same name. Jason Gann, who voices the canine, also starred in the Oz version and adapted it for U.S. auds. Both series are produced by FX Prods.

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