‘Perception,’ ‘Closer’ off to healthy starts for TNT

McCormack starrer draws 5.6 million in series debut

TNT’s freshman drama “Perception” drew a sizable overall audience Monday night while “The Closer” remained a popular draw as it began its final season.

“Perception,” in which Eric McCormack stars as an eccentric neuroscience professor who is recruited by the FBI to help solve complex cases, drew 5.6 million viewers in its 10 p.m. debut, according to Nielsen. The show, which was helped by having “The Closer” as its 9 o’clock lead in, drew 1.5 million in adults 25-54 but just 1.1 million adults 18-49.

The “Perception” preem came a few weeks after “Dallas,” which was recently renewed for a second season, opened to 6.8 million viewers — the largest aud for any new cable series on any net in 2012.

Also expecting an imminent pickup is sci-fier “Falling Skies,” whose second season kicked off June 17. Series drew 4.5 million viewers in its first viewing and 5.5 million when live-plus-3 numbers are included.

Show chronicles the devastating aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. In the nine months since the initial invasion, the few remaining survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin the difficult task of fighting back.

As for “The Closer,” the last season began with 6.1 million viewers (including 1.2 million adults 18-49 and 1.7 million adults 25-54). The Kyra Sedgwick starrer will end its run Aug. 13 and the cabler will then hope to draw the same aud, and more, for spinoff “Major Crimes,” which will follow immediately.