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UPDATE: Early DVR playback has helped “I Am Cait” trim its week-to-week losses, though they remain substantial. According to Nielsen’s “live plus-3” data, the Aug. 2 episode of the series averaged a 1.02 rating in adults-18-49, down 43% from the premiere score (1.78), and 2.256 million viewers overall, which was 47% below the premiere’s average audience of 3.892 million in L+3. In the originally reported same-day numbers, the declines were 50% in the demo and 53% in total viewers.


A lot of curious viewers who tuned in to the premiere of E!’s “I Am Cait” didn’t return for a second helping.

Nielsen estimates that the series about the transformation of Caitlyn Jenner averaged a 0.57 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.292 million viewers overall — down 50% in the demo (from 1.15) and 53% lower in total viewers (from 2.732 million) from the show’s July 26 debut. When it bowed, “I Am Cait” became the network’s most-watched series premiere since January 2011 (“Kourtney & Kim Take New York”) and the top-rated series opener in the demo since April 2011 (“Khloe & Lamar”).

One week after standing as cable’s No. 1 Sunday program in the 18-49 demo, “I Am Cait” settled for a ninth place finish among original cable series on the night this time around.

In Nielsen’s “live plus-3” ratings, the premiere of “I Am Cait” rose to a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 3.892 million viewers overall. There’s a chance “Cait” could trim its week-to-week deficits when L3 numbers are released for Sunday’s episode on Friday, but likely not by much.

Elsewhere Sunday in “live plus same-day” cable ratings, Discovery’s “Naked and Afraid XL” (1.09 rating in 18-49, 2.71 million viewers overall) was the top series in 18-49, and its “Naked and Afraid: Bares” lead-in (0.75 rating in 18-49, 1.93 million viewers overall) made the top 10.

TNT’s “The Last Ship” had its second best delivery of the summer in both 18-49 (0.77 rating) and 25-54 (1.01 rating), and its 2.86 million viewers made it cable’s most-watched series on Sunday night.

HBO’s “True Detective” (2.18 million viewers) continued its gradual decline heading into its finale this Sunday, down from the previous week’s 2.34 million. In its first season, the penultimate episode of “Detective” averaged 2.33 million viewers and then spiked to 3.52 million for its finale. Lead-out “Ballers” also hit a low (1.56 million), but “The Brink” (999,000) was up week to week.

Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” (1.37 million) was down a little from last week but still drew its second largest audience in four weeks this summer, and “Masters of Sex” hit a season high (585,000).

A replay of Friday’s original movie “Descendants” drew 3.31 million viewers Sunday night for Disney Channel, making it cable’s most-watched program for the night and helping put an exclamation mark on the network’s first-place primetime finish for the week among all cable networks (2.27 million). The premiere of the junior villains original movie drew 6.55 million viewers Friday night.

(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 rating
1.  Naked and Afraid XL (Discovery), 1.09
2.  True Detective (HBO), 0.97
3.  Food Network Star (Food), 0.84
4.  The Last Ship (TNT), 0.77
5.  Ballers (HBO), 0.76
6.  Naked and Afraid: Bares (Discovery), 0.75
7.  Basketball Wives L.A. (VH1), 0.74
8.  Movie: Descendants-r (Disney), 0.65
9.  Strain (FX), 0.59
10.  I Am Cait (E!), 0.57
11.  Baseball: Washington-New York Mets (ESPN), 0.56
12.  Bar Rescue (Spike), 0.55
13.  Falling Skies (TNT), 0.52
14.  Ice Road Truckers (History), 0.51
15.  Cutthroat Kitchen (Food), 0.50

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Movie: Descendants-r (Disney), 3.31
2.  The Last Ship (TNT), 2.86
3.  Food Network Star (Food), 2.73
4.  Naked and Afraid XL (Discovery), 2.71
5.  Bunk’d (Disney), 2.30
6.  True Detective (HBO), 2.18
7.  Baseball: Washington-New York Mets (ESPN), 2.00
8.  Ice Road Truckers (History), 1.96
9.  Falling Skies (TNT), 1.93
9.  Naked and Afraid: Bares (Discovery), 1.93

Source: Nielsen

Each 18-49 ratings point represents about 1.27 million viewers