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‘Justified,’ ‘White Collar,’ ‘Southland’ take hits

All three see viewer erosion after competing at 10 p.m.

“Justified,” “White Collar” and “Southland” all saw year-to-year ratings decreases after locking horns Tuesday night in the same timeslot.

With each of the dramas debuting their new seasons at 10 p.m., all three suffered some viewer erosion. However, with DVR’s clearly getting a workout, each skein will likely see dramatic increases when live + 7 numbers are tallied.

USA Network’s “White Collar” did best of the trio, drawing 3.2 million total viewers. Yet that was down 15% from a year ago when the skein took in 3.8 million viewers.

Tuesday marked the debut for the second half of season three for “White Collar.” Cabler is contemplating not breaking up seasons of its current and future series because of an expanding original programming lineup.

Show, from Fox Television Studios, stars Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay and is exec produced by creator Jeff Eastin and Mark Goffman.

At FX, the season-three premiere of “Justified” took an 11% hit in total viewers. The Timothy Olyphant starrer drew 3.1 million viewers Tuesday and lost a hefty 24% in the 18-49 demo.

Sony Television-produced skein is exec produced by creator Graham Yost, Fred Golan, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, Michael Dinner and Elmore Leonard, who wrote the novel, “Fire in the Hole,” in which the show is based.

Walton Goggins, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter and Natalie Zea are among the co-stars.

TNT’s “Southland” was also down from a year ago, but only by 300,000 viewers. The Warner Bros.-produced LAPD cop drama attracted 1.8 million viewers in its first of three telecasts Tuesday.

Show, from exec producers John Wells, Chris Chulack and Jonathan Lisco, features an ensemble that includes Ben McKenzie, Michael Cudlitz and Regina King.

Ever since it launched on NBC in 2009, “Southland” has been a critical hit but has never been a big ratings draw. TNT picked up the show after the Peacock gave it the ax.

At FX’s recent Television Critics Assn. tour session Sunday, network president John Landgraf reiterated the importance of cumulative viewing totals and noted that a series can ultimately receive about three times as many viewers as it draws from its initial weekly telecast.

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