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‘SMILF’ Scores Strong Start on Showtime, ‘Shameless’ Soars

Showtime’s new comedy “SMILF” enjoyed a strong opening in the ratings for its debut on Sunday, while the Season 8 debut of “Shameless” improved on the Season 7 premiere.

According to Nielsen data, “SMILF” pulled in 768,000 viewers in its initial airing at 10 p.m. and added a little less than 250,000 additional viewers with two additional airings that night, bringing its premiere night total to 1.01 million. That is not including the 440,000 whom Showtime says sampled the series early on demand and streaming.

The news bodes well for the series, which was created by and stars Frankie Shaw as a single mother living in South Boston. For comparison, the series premiere of fellow Showtime freshman comedy “White Famous” starring Jay Pharoah and executive produced by and guest starring Jamie Foxx drew an estimated 154,000 viewers in its initial airing. The Season 2 premiere of “Dice,” another Showtime comedy, averaged a 177,000.

“SMILF” also had the good fortune of airing immediately after the Season 8 premiere of “Shameless.” This season’s premiere was the show’s highest-rated since Season 3, drawing in 1.86 million viewers in its initial airing at 9 p.m. That is an approximate improvement of 50 percent compared to the Season 7 premiere, which drew 1.24 million viewers. When two additional airings are factored in, “Shameless” pulled in 2.17 million viewers for the night.

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