TNT has chalked up another ratings victory, ranking as basic cable's most-watched network in primetime for the month of July. Propelled by the strength of its original dramas – including the chart-topping series The Last Ship, Major Crimes and Rizzoli & Isles – TNT drew 2.1 million viewers in primetime for July, +5% ahead of its nearest competitor. TNT also ranked #1 for the final week of July, marking its fifth consecutive week in the winner's circle. TNT's ratings success in July follows its sweeping victory as basic cable's #1 network in Q2 2014.
Two thirds of the way through the summer season, TNT's dramas continue to dominate the competition. Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes and The Last Ship rank as basic cable's Top 3 most-watched scripted series for the summer-to-date and are joined by Falling Skies, Murder in the First and Perception in giving TNT six of basic cable's Top 10 scripted series this summer. In key demos, TNT's new hit The Last Ship leads the pack as TNT claims basic cable's Top 4 scripted series this summer with adults 25-54. And among adults 18-49, TNT holds three of the Top 5 scripted series this summer, with The Last Ship topping the list.
TNT's powerhouse dramas have drawn considerable strength from time-shifted viewing. According to the latest Live + 7 data, Rizzoli & Isles grew to a final tally of 8.0 million viewers; Major Crimes brought in more than 7.1 million viewers for its July 7 episode; The Last Ship scored more than 7.1 million viewers for its July 13 episode (+9% vs. the prior week); Falling Skies took in 4.8 million viewers for its July 13 episode; Murder in the First brought in 4.5 million viewers for its July 7 episode (+7% vs. the prior week); and Perception garnered 4.2 million viewers for the July 8 episode.
In other time-shifted viewing, last Monday's episode of Major Crimes scored the show's biggest Live + 3 audience so far this summer, with 7.3 million viewers (+4% vs. the prior week), along with 2.2 million adults 25-54 and 1.6 million adults 18-49. Also in Live + 3, the July 22 episode of Rizzoli & Isles has climbed to more than 7.5 million viewers (+6% vs. the prior week), including 2.6 million adults 25-54 (+9%) and 2.1 million adults 18-49 (+6%). And the July 20 episode of The Last Ship has drawn 6.0 million viewers in Live + 3 delivery, with 2.4 million adults 25-54 and 2.1 million adults 18-49 (+8% vs. the prior week). In addition, the July 22 episode of Perception has brought in 4.3 million viewers (+8% vs. the prior week) and 1.4 million adults 25-54 (+4%), while the July 20 episode of Falling Skies has drawn 4.2 million viewers in Live + 3, and the July 21 episode of Murder in the First is up to 4.0 million viewers in Live + 3.
Collectively, TNT's summer originals are bringing in many more viewers than last year. For the summer-to-date, the network's original series are averaging 5.7 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery, a +34% increase over the same time last year. Demo deliveries have grown by double-digit percentages, with this summer's TNT originals bringing in +19% more adults 25-54 and +13% more adults 18-49 than last summer.
TNT Wins Fourth Week in a Row, with Major Crimes,Rizzoli & Isles and The Last Ship Leading the Pack
TNT's summer ratings dominance continued last week with its fourth consecutive win as basic cable's most-watched network in primetime. TNT's ongoing success has been fueled by its slate of hit summer dramas, including Major Crimes, Rizzoli & Isles and The Last Ship, which ranked as basic cable's Top 3 scripted programs for the week among total viewers and which continue to hold position as basic cable's Top 3 scripted series for the summer-to-date. Sunday night's episode of The Last Ship ranked as basic cable's #1 scripted original for the week among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54, solidifying its position as the summer's #1 scripted original on basic cable with key demos. The Last Ship, Major Crimes and Rizzoli & Isles also ranked basic cable's Top 3 scripted programs for the week among adults 25-54. For the summer-to-date, The Last Ship and Rizzoli & Isles are joined by the epic sci-fi Falling Skies in giving TNT three of basic cable's Top 5 scripted originals with adults 18-49. TNT also has all four of the Top 4 scripted originals with adults 25-54 and six of the Top 10 with total viewers for the summer-to-date.
In addition to their competitive success, TNT's powerhouse dramas are attracting huge audiences in time-shifted viewing. According to the latest data, Rizzoli & Isles drew 8.1 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery for its July 1 episode, while Major Crimes booked 7.1 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery for its June 30 episode, and The Last Ship grabbed 6.5 million viewers in Live + 7 for its July 6 episode. TNT's Perception garnered its biggest audience so far this season, with 5.1 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery for the July 1 episdode (+17% vs. the prior week). In addition, Falling Skies grabbed 4.8 million viewers for its July 6 episode, and Murder in the First brought in 4.2 million viewers with its June 30 episode.
TNT's dramas are also performing exceptionally well in Live + 3. Last Monday's episode of Major Crimes scored the show's best Live + 3 deliveries so far this season, with 7 million viewers in Live + 3 delivery (+4% vs. the prior week) and +3% growth among key demos. Also in Live + 3, the July 15 episode of Rizzoli & Isles has climbed to more than 7.1 million viewers, while the July 13 episode of The Last Ship has drawn 6.4 million viewers, a +5% boost over the prior week. In addition, the July 13 episode of Falling Skies has drawn 4.4 million viewers in Live + 3, while the July 14 episode of Murder in the First is up to 4.1 million viewers, and the July 15 episode of Perception has brought in 4 million viewers.
Collectively, this year's crop of summer originals are bringing in many more viewers to TNT than last summer. For the summer-to-date, the network's original series are averaging 5.8 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery, a +38% increase over the same time last year. Demo deliveries have grown by double-digit percentages, with this summer's TNT originals bringing in +20% more adults 25-54 and +13% more adults 18-49 than last summer.
With the latest data included, TNT now claims six of basic cable's Top 10 scripted series this summer, including the Top 3:
#1 Rizzoli & Isles: 7.0 million viewers for the summer-to-date (Live + 7 blended)
#2 Major Crimes: 6.3 million viewers
#3 The Last Ship: 5.9 million viewers
Falling Skies: 4.3 million viewers
Murder in the First: 4.0 million viewers
Perception: 3.9 million viewers
TNT is home to all four of basic cable's Top 4 scripted series this summer with adults 25-54:
#1 The Last Ship: 2.3 million adults 25-54 (Live + 7 blended)
#2 Rizzoli & Isles: 2.2 million adults 25-54
#3 Falling Skies: 2.0 million adults 25-54
#4 Major Crimes: 1.9 million adults 25-54
Among adults 18-49, TNT holds three of the Top 5 scripted series this summer, including the Top 2:
#1 The Last Ship: 1.9 million adults 18-49 (Live + 7 blended)
TNT ranked as the #1 network on basic cable in primetime among viewers last week. TNT's success for the week was driven by its powerful slate of summer dramas, including basic cable's Top 3 scripted programs for the week: Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes and The Last Ship.
TNT’s blockbuster hit, Rizzoli & Isles has climbed to 7.5 million viewers in Live + 3 delivery for last Tuesday's episode, including 2.6 million adults 25-54 (+9% vs. the prior week) and 2.2 million adults 18-49 (+17% vs. prior week). Last Tuesday's episode of Perception has drawn 3.9 million viewers in Live + 3 delivery, including 1.4 million adults 25-54 and 1.1 million adults 18-49.
Dr. Maura Isles may face her toughest case ever on Rizzoli & Isles — a case of love!
On this week's new episode, airing Tuesday at 9 p.m. on TNT, Maura (Sasha Alexander) meets a dashing man, played by guest star Enver Gjokaj (Dollhouse, Vegas). As Rizzoli & Islesfans know, Maura hasn't had the best luck with dating. She may be a master at dissecting bodies and analyzing blood samples, but she's a bit deficient in dealing with emotions.
Will Gjokaj's character change all that? And will Maura finally find a relationship to rival her sparkling friendship with Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon)? We chatted with Gjokaj to get the scoop on Maura's potential love connection — and whether he'll be sticking around for good.
Tell us a bit about your character.
My character is Jack Keystone, he's an electrical engineering professor at the university where Maura is guest lecturing. He's a bit of a different kind of character than the guys she's met before, and they make a connection while she's doing this lecture for her students.
She's dated some pretty choice characters [laughs]. So, Jack is pretty down-to-earth. I wouldn't say he's her intellectual equal, but he's a match in certain ways. And they really connect on that level.
In our sneak peek clip (above) of Jack's first meeting with Maura, and it seems like you and Sasha have great chemistry. Did that just happen naturally?
It's one of those TV things where you show up to a set and you jump on a golf cart and they take you to set and they say, "Hi, this is your mom. She's dying of cancer. Go." You run into those situations all the time as an actor, and you just hope in that moment that you connect with the other actor. The day we first shot, Sasha and I got along instantly. We started shooting the first take and right away, we were having a lot of fun. We were laughing a lot.
Maura and Jane have such a strong friendship. Is Jack going to get in the middle of that?
Jack isn't really aware of that character yet. As the episodes go along, he's starting to get an idea that she has this other life. I'm interested as an actor to see where they go with that, once he realizes there's this major thing that competes for her time and attention. So far, in the stuff I've shot, he's getting clued into that, so we'll see where that goes.
You're shooting multiple episodes, so does this mean things get serious between them?
I'm going to say I don't know, because I actually don't! It's one of those things where I find out as they give me the episodes. And that's exciting in a way, because every time I get a script, I'm paging through it and asking myself, "Where's this going? What do they have in store for me?" It seems from the episodes we shot, it's getting a little more serious.
Jack is different than Maura's other love interests, but can he really be as good as he seems?
I was definitely waiting for the other shoe to drop [laughs]. Some other people were wondering that on set too — is this guy going to turn out to be crazy or whatever? They didn't really talk to me about it when I signed up for the role. I'd worked with some of the people before, and they said, "Hey, do you want to do this?" And I said yeah, because I have a great working relationship with them.
Do you think Jack will become a permanent fixture on the show?
From your lips to the producers' ears! It's so great to work on the set — everybody's wonderful. Honestly, it's one of the best sets I've ever been on. Angie's amazing, and Sasha is wonderful and so giving. She's a really fun, fun actor to work with. And not all jobs are like that. Sometimes you walk into a place and it doesn't really feel like a family, but I'd love to continue to be involved because it feels like a real community over there.
Angie and Sasha have such great chemistry on screen. Everybody always wonders whether that translates off-screen, and it sounds like that's the case.
They're so bright, especially Sasha — because I've worked with her more — has such a bright, giving energy. I remember I came back from the makeup trailer one time and she had gone somewhere and was talking to a producer and he was looking for an actor for some role. And she'd been talking me up! I was like, "Wow, I need to pay you 10 percent, at least as much as my agents." You just don't see that a lot. Many times when you do an arc like this, you show up and get your makeup on and you drive away. But I really hope they're going to bring this character in, because it's a wonderful job to be doing.
Sounds like a fun set. Do you guys get up to any hijinks?
Oh, they're insane! [Laughs.] The first day I was there, Sasha and the makeup ladies were watching Anthony Bourdain turning on a TV set. And their riffing on Anthony Bourdain was unreal. It was so hilarious, I was dying. I was immediately like, these women are crazy — crazy fun!
DVRs Propel Rizzoli & Isles to 8.7 Million Viewers and The Last Ship to 7.7 Million Viewers
Blockbuster Series Solidify Chart-Topping Positions
Robust DVR usage has pushed the season premiere of Rizzoli & Isles to 8.7 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery, while the launch of The Last Ship has grown to 7.7 million viewers in Live + 7. The success cements the chart-topping positions for both shows, with Rizzoli & Isles ranking as basic cable's #1 summer series among total viewers and The Last Ship sailing high as basic cable's #1 summer series among key adult demos and cable's #1 new series for the year-to-date.
Time-shifted viewing scored big deliveries for TNT's entire slate of summer dramas, including Major Crimes, which drew 6.5 million viewers in Live + 7 for its June 16 episode; Falling Skies, which grabbed 5.9 million viewers in Live + 7 for its June 22 installment; and Murder in the First, which drew 4.9 million viewers in Live + 7 for its June 16 episode.
With the latest data included, TNT now claims six of basic cable's Top 10 summer series, including all Top 3:
#1 Rizzoli & Isles: 6.5 million viewers for the summer-to-date (Live + 7 blended)
#2 The Last Ship: 6.2 million viewers
#3 Major Crimes: 5.9 million viewers
Falling Skies: 4.5 million viewers
Murder in the First: 3.9 million viewers
Perception: 3.5 million viewers
TNT also claims four of basic cable's Top 5 summer series with adults 25-54:
#1 The Last Ship: 2.3 million adults 25-54
Rizzoli & Isles: 2.0 million adults 25-54
Falling Skies: 1.9 million adults 25-54
Major Crimes: 1.7 million adults 25-54
And among adults 18-49, TNT now holds three of the Top 5 spots:
#1 The Last Ship: 1.9 million adults 18-49
Falling Skies: 1.6 million adults 18-49
Rizzoli & Isles: 1.6 million adults 18-49
TNT summer dramas are pulling in significant portions of their audiences through time-shifted viewing. DVR usage brought the season premiere of Rizzoli & Isles an additional 2.9 million viewers over its Live + Same Day delivery, while The Last Ship increased its premiere delivery by 2.4 million viewers. Here's a rundown of how TNT's summer dramas are shaping up in terms of time-shifted viewing:
Rizzoli & Isles: +2.9 million viewers in Live + 7 vs. Live + Same Day
RIZZOLI & ISLES had a real-life tragedy to contend with during parts of the first two episodes of the season, and while Frost won’t be forgotten, there are some lighter storylines ahead.
I spoke with R&I showrunner Jan Nash about Jane’s pregnancy, Maura’s new love, and the cases to come…
Now that a couple of people know Jane is pregnant – but not everyone, yet – what can you say about how that arc will be playing out?
Jan Nash: The pregnancy story will be featured very heavily in the beginning, as it sort of reflects back on these core relationships. It’s the same show, but it’s dealing with these different issues. It’s fundamentally about these two women who have an incredible friendship, and it’s about exploring that friendship through the real things that life throws at you.
Since there might be limits to what Jane could do as a cop as she progresses through her pregnancy, will the show be jumping forward in time at all?
JN: An awesome idea, and I will defer how we are going to handle the pregnancy until later…we have a lot of time to let that story unfold in season 5 in a way that hopefully the audience will find satisfying.
Chris Vance (Casey) is currently tied up with another television series, so will Jane be getting any on-screen help from the father of her baby?
JN: One of the early episodes is titled, “It Takes a Village,” and I think one of the things Jane realizes is that having a baby is a very difficult experience, but she has a lot of people in her life to support her through it. And she will discover that, and rely on that, and move forward with that experience relying on the relationships she already has in place.
What can you say about the decision to keep Maura and Frankie in the status quo after last season’s kiss?
JN: We made a decision that was not necessarily something we wanted to spin out. We needed to honor what had happened, but we didn’t want to continue to spin that story out right now…there are some really lovely moments between the two of them, because they’re adults, and went through an experience, and they’ll talk about things differently, and maybe talk about different things.
Maura will, in fact, get a love interest about a third of the way through the season that will carry us for a number of episodes. She’ll start teaching a class, and it’s somebody at the university. Sasha [Alexander (Maura)] has played it beautifully. The actor in question, Enver Gjokaj is somebody I know from a show I had worked on previously [MADE IN JERSEY], and he’s an incredibly attractive actor with an enormous amount of charisma. He feels like somebody who could be Maura’s equal, in terms of his intellect and in terms of his quirky presence. There’s a nice story that will unfold as the season goes on about those two. And as everything on the show does, it does circle back to, “How does it impact the Jane and Maura relationship and what does it mean for the dynamic of the show going forward?” There are a lot of really nice things happening.
The show handled the loss of Frost really respectfully. Because that wound is so fresh, is there a hesitancy to bring in a new character into the precinct? Or are you moving forward with things as much as possible?
JN: As much as you can without it casting a pall on things, we’re trying to let the experience of that live in the show. We are going to be adding a character to the show about halfway through, but we’re not replacing Barry Frost; you can’t. You can’t do that. But that’s something we can talk about later in the season.
Aside from the first couple of episodes, which episodes stand out to you as ones you’re really excited for the fans to see?
JN: There are really great moments in all of them. Episode 5, which deals with the death of a wealthy woman in Boston, has some incredibly funny moments in it. Episode 4 is about doomsday preppers.
Every episode has something in it where you’re like, “That’s really cool!” The crew has been amazing, and these are great actors, so these episodes all feel really interesting and fun, and I [don’t think] the audience will show up and think, “Oh, this feels a lot like last week.” They’re different, and yet there is still kind of an arc, and we’re carrying some of those stories through, and I’m just really proud of the work everybody’s done.
Rizzoli & Isles and Major Crimes Top the Returning Series Charts for Q2
TNT's Q2 victory, which was driven early in the quarter by Turner Sports' coverage of the NBA Playoffs and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, has been cemented by the network's powerful summer lineup. In addition to landing the top new series of Q2, TNT is home to basic cable's Top 2 returning series for the quarter: Rizzoli & Isles, which has risen to 7.8 million viewers in Live + 3 delivery for last Tuesday's episode, and Major Crimes, which has garnered 6.6 million viewers in Live + 3 for last Monday's episode, a +9% increase over the prior week. Major Crimes also scored growth in key demos, increasing its deliveries of adults 18-49 by +20% and adults 25-54 by +13% over the prior week's episode.