Sunday was a good night for bad behavior in the cable-ratings race.
Showtime's terrorism-driven drama "Homeland" and serial-killer hit "Dexter" both posted gains Sunday night, while the season premiere of Bravo's "Real Housewives of Atlanta" yielded the franchise's highest premiere numbers yet, according to Nielsen numbers.
"Dexter" attracted its biggest audience since the series' Season 6 premiere Oct. 2, with 1.98 million viewers for its 9 p.m. airing and 2.45 million total for the night, including rebroadcasts. (The season premiere, which itself was up 24 percent over last season's premiere, drew 2.2 million viewers for its initial broadcast, and 2.8 million viewers including rebroadcasts.) The 1.98 million marks a 10 percent increase over last week's initial airing, which drew 1.8 million total viewers.
With all platforms -- such as On Demand, DVR and replays -- counted, "Dexter" is averaging 5.1 million viewers weekly for its current season.
The Claire Danes drama "Homeland," which premiered Oct. 2, provided more encouraging news -- Sunday night's episode was up 23 percent compared to its series premiere, bringing in 1.33 million viewers with its initial 10 p.m. broadcast, and 1.61 million viewers overall when rebroadcasts are factored in. On average, the series is averaging 4.1 million viewers per week when all platforms are factored in, making it Showtime's most successful freshman series.
Meanwhile, on Bravo, the genteel Southern belles of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" returned for their fourth season Sunday, receiving both its highest season-premiere ratings and the best season-premiere numbers for the franchise as a whole. The "Real Housewives of Atlanta" premiere pulled in 2.9 million total viewers, 1.9 million of them in the adults 18-49 demographic. All told, Sunday night's premiere bested the Season 3 premiere numbers by 20 percent in total viewers and 10 percent in the demo.