Just a heads up, Sunday night featured a changing of the guard of sorts over at Showtime. Homeland has officially become the network’s top-rated drama, usurping Dexter which has held the post for nearly seven seasons. The final line has Dexter up 1.1 to 1.0 in the 18-49 demo, but this is premium cable where there is no advertising so only viewership matters here. In that category, Homeland pushed to 2.2 million viewers (another series high) against Dexter’s 2.1 million. Both programs were not quite at their season finales just yet as two more outings remain until the close of their second and seventh seasons respectfully.
This all happened against the midseason finale of The Walking Dead which found an audience 10.5 million strong with a 5.4 18-49. That was Dexter’s competition at 9 pm/ET which might have skewed the head-to-head a bit; however, keep in mind we cannot simply compare AMC’s offering to Showtime’s as the basic cable program is available in roughly four times as many households.
In other cable news, Boardwalk Empire lagged a bit going into the season finale with a mere 2.2 million viewers and a 0.8 18-49. Once again, the demo does not really matter much, but the difference between Boardwalk and Homeland in viewership was about 20,000 or so in the latter’s favor. Technically, the two programs tied which is a huge win for Showtime going forward, making HBO the ultimate loser. Showtime has always played second fiddle to the Warner Bros.-owned rival, but the fall firmly belongs to the home of everyone’s favorite terrorism-driven drama.