“Shameless” got off to the best start of any Showtime drama in seven years, as the first airing of the Brit import drew 982,000 viewers.
Show, based on the Paul Abbott-created series, stars Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy as members of a family living on the poverty line.
In 2004, “Dead Like Me” opened to a still-record 1.1 million. The “Shameless” numbers will likely rise as the week goes on with repeat telecasts, plus DVR and on-demand usage.
Prior to the 10 p.m. “Shameless” debut, half-hour “Episodes” opened to 768,000 viewers. Matt LeBlanc stars as himself, playing the lead of a sitcom that’s getting a dumbed-down Yank treatment of an award-winning U.K. series.
Leading off the night at 9 was the season-four premiere of David Duchovny starrer “Californication,” which drew a season-preem best 848,000, up slightly on last season’s first episode.