Ratings: “Masters Of Sex” Premiere Viewership Falls; “Ray Donovan” Soars

Masters Of Sex [Showtime PR]

It has occasionally been the subject of critical acclaim, but Showtime’s “Masters Of Sex” has never been a strong live+same-day ratings performer.

Sunday’s fourth season premiere did not change that soft ratings reality.

According to live+same-day data posted by Showbuzz, Sunday’s “Masters” premiere drew a 0.13 adults 18-49 rating and 518,000 total viewers. Last year’s premiere drew the same 0.13 adults 18-49 rating but an audience of 583,000.

The episode had been made available for streaming in advance of Sunday’s broadcast, which may have adversely affected L+SD viewership. It does not invalidate the year-to-year comparison, however, as the third season premiere was also available early.

A potentially more relevant variable is competition from Sunday Night Football. The previous two “Masters Of Sex” seasons premiered in July; competition from football did not become a factor until late in the season.

This year’s premiere aired opposite the first Sunday night game of the regular NFL season.

That competition did not, however, take a clear bite out of lead-in “Ray Donovan.” The veteran Showtime drama enjoyed episode-to-episode improvement, rising from a 0.24 rating and 1.001 million viewers on 8/28 to a 0.36 rating and 1.472 million this week.

“Ray Donovan” also provided better lead-in support for the fourth season “Masters” premiere than it did the third. The July 12 “Ray Donovan,” which led into the S3 “Masters of Sex” premiere, drew a 0.32 rating and 1.035 million total viewers.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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