Cable nets grab slice of HBO pie

'Redemption,' 'Band' reap bigger share of Easter treats

This article was updated at 7:02 p.m.

HBO’s Sunday skeins continue to put up big numbers, but there was room for more with FX and History Channel longforms grabbing bigger-than-usual pieces of the pie.

Basic cablers proved formidable competition Sunday for the pay cabler’s heavyweights “The Sopranos” and “Deadwood.”

On FX, the Jamie Foxx-led original movie “Redemption” drew 4 million total viewers during its premiere. Among core adults 18-49, pic yielded a 1.9 national rating/5 share, making it the top-ranked basic cable telepic season-to-date among the 18-49 and 18-34 demos.

In the FX universe, the made-for comes second only to the pic “44 Minutes,” which nabbed more than 6 million viewers in its June 2003 premiere.

“Redemption,” based on the true story of Nobel Prize nominee/co-founder of the Crips street gang Stan “Tookie” Williams, aired from 8-10 p.m.

History Channel’s hyped rerun of HBO’s 10-hour mini “Band of Brothers” landed the network its best-ever ratings. First installment bowed to 4.6 million total viewers — 1.9 million in the cabler’s key 25-54 demo — edging previous record-holder “Russia: Land of the Tsars” (3.4 million).

Produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, “Brothers” is the tentpole of History Channel’s 2004 lineup and will run for nine consecutive nights at 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, HBO’s Sunday night doubleheader continues to trounce all in its path. Mob drama “The Sopranos” delivered 9.9 million overall (5.3/13 in 18-49) while rookie oater “Deadwood” pulled in 5.4 million (2.8/7 in 18-49). Perf for “Deadwood” repped the show’s best numbers since skein’s premiere.

“Sopranos” easily won the 9 p.m. hour among core 18-49 viewers, besting all broadcast programming including ABC’s “The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour” (4.7 /11).

Elsewhere Sunday, the Adam Sandler starrer “Big Daddy” attracted 3.3 million total viewers on USA; TBS scored 2.9 million with an airing of “The 5th Element”; and an episode of TLC’s “Trading Spaces: Home Free” nabbed 2.7 million.

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