Showtime’s ‘Homeland’ Returns to Lower Ratings; FX’s ‘Strain’ Is Cable’s Top Sunday Drama

Showtime’s “Homeland” kicked off its fourth season Sunday with solid-enough albeit unspectacular same-night ratings.

According to Nielsen estimates, an average audience of 1.61 million viewers watched the 94-minute premiere of “Homeland” — down from the 1.88 million of its year-ago hourlong premiere and the 1.73 million for its second-season opener in 2012. A second airing at 11 p.m. drew 248,000 viewers, bringing the nightly total to about 1.86 million.

“Homeland’s” peak regular-timeslot audience came with last December’s third-season finale (2.38 million).

As a premium cabler, Showtime isn’t a slave to demos like ad-supported networks, but it’s worth noting that “Homeland” cooled considerably among adults under 50. Its 0.56 rating was down 29% from last year’s 0.79 and a big 40% lower than its third-season finale last December (0.94).

“Homeland” benefited from airing at 10 p.m. behind “Dexter” in its first two seasons, before moving to 9 p.m. without any lead-in support a year ago. Starting next week, new drama “The Affair” airs at 10 p.m., behind “Homeland.”

Also Sunday, FX’s “The Strain” wrapped its first season with a regular-timeslot audience of 2.09 million and a 0.97 rating in adults 18-49 — best in both categories for any Sunday cable drama. In the most recent “live plus-7” ratings available, “Strain” moved above the 4-million viewer total.

HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” building toward its series finale, averaged 1.94 million for its 10 p.m. airing on Sunday.

More TV

  • NFL Network Thursday Night Football on

    NFL Network Suspends On-Air Analysts Amid Sexual Harassment Probe

    Showtime’s “Homeland” kicked off its fourth season Sunday with solid-enough albeit unspectacular same-night ratings. According to Nielsen estimates, an average audience of 1.61 million viewers watched the 94-minute premiere of “Homeland” — down from the 1.88 million of its year-ago hourlong premiere and the 1.73 million for its second-season opener in 2012. A second airing […]

  • Edgar Ramirez, Darren Criss, Ricky Martin.

    'The Assassination of Gianni Versace': 6 Things We Learned From FX's First Screening

    Showtime’s “Homeland” kicked off its fourth season Sunday with solid-enough albeit unspectacular same-night ratings. According to Nielsen estimates, an average audience of 1.61 million viewers watched the 94-minute premiere of “Homeland” — down from the 1.88 million of its year-ago hourlong premiere and the 1.73 million for its second-season opener in 2012. A second airing […]

  • Jimmy Kimmel Brings Son on Show,

    Jimmy Kimmel Brings Son on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live,' Asks Congress to Renew CHIP

    Showtime’s “Homeland” kicked off its fourth season Sunday with solid-enough albeit unspectacular same-night ratings. According to Nielsen estimates, an average audience of 1.61 million viewers watched the 94-minute premiere of “Homeland” — down from the 1.88 million of its year-ago hourlong premiere and the 1.73 million for its second-season opener in 2012. A second airing […]

  • TV News Roundup: 'Knightfall' Grows by

    TV News Roundup: 'Knightfall' Premiere Grows by 71 Percent in Delayed Viewing

    Showtime’s “Homeland” kicked off its fourth season Sunday with solid-enough albeit unspectacular same-night ratings. According to Nielsen estimates, an average audience of 1.61 million viewers watched the 94-minute premiere of “Homeland” — down from the 1.88 million of its year-ago hourlong premiere and the 1.73 million for its second-season opener in 2012. A second airing […]

  • Tax Plan Strikes Fear Among Below

    Hollywood's Below-the-Line Workers Anxious About New Tax Plans

    Showtime’s “Homeland” kicked off its fourth season Sunday with solid-enough albeit unspectacular same-night ratings. According to Nielsen estimates, an average audience of 1.61 million viewers watched the 94-minute premiere of “Homeland” — down from the 1.88 million of its year-ago hourlong premiere and the 1.73 million for its second-season opener in 2012. A second airing […]

  • Steve Edwards Good Day LA

    Veteran Anchor Steve Edwards Out at 'Good Day L.A.'

    Showtime’s “Homeland” kicked off its fourth season Sunday with solid-enough albeit unspectacular same-night ratings. According to Nielsen estimates, an average audience of 1.61 million viewers watched the 94-minute premiere of “Homeland” — down from the 1.88 million of its year-ago hourlong premiere and the 1.73 million for its second-season opener in 2012. A second airing […]

  • Rupert Murdoch Bob Iger Disney Fox

    Disney Nearing Finish Line With 21st Century Fox as Comcast Bows Out of Acquisition Hunt

    Showtime’s “Homeland” kicked off its fourth season Sunday with solid-enough albeit unspectacular same-night ratings. According to Nielsen estimates, an average audience of 1.61 million viewers watched the 94-minute premiere of “Homeland” — down from the 1.88 million of its year-ago hourlong premiere and the 1.73 million for its second-season opener in 2012. A second airing […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content