‘Masters of Sex’ Season 2 Premiere Suffers Slight Ratings Droop; ‘Ray Donovan’ Returns Steady

Both series hold up strong without “Homeland” and “Dexter” lead-ins

Micheal Sheen and Beau Bridges in Masters of Sex Episode 201

“Masters of Sex” returned with a bang on Sunday night — though not quite as big a bang as its series premiere.

Sunday’s Season 2 premiere of the Showtime drama at 10 p.m. had 825,000 total viewers, compared to just under 1 million for the series premiere in October.

See video: ‘Masters of Sex’ Star Teddy Sears Teases Season 2 Changes and Big Guest Stars

While down slightly from the series premiere, the Season 2 premiere of “Masters” — which stars Michael Sheen as pioneering sex researcher William Masters — fared quite well when placed in context. The series premiere benefited from a lead-in in the form of “Homeland.”

Over multiple airings, the “Masters of Sex” season premiere amassed 1.12 million viewers.

Also read: ‘Masters of Sex’ Review: Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen Go Deeper in Season 2

The Season 2 premiere of “Ray Donovan” the preceding hour drew 1.22 million total hours, on par with the series premiere, which had 1.3 million total viewers. For the night overall, the “Ray Donovan” premiere collected 1.76 million total viewers. The essentially steady numbers are impressive, given the fact that last season the series enjoyed a lead-in from the network’s popular “Dexter.”