"Dexter" sets a new ratings record for Showtime

Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall in a scene from the seventh season of "Dexter." Showtime

The seventh season premiere of "Dexter" delivered the largest premiere audience in Showtime history on Sunday and helped lift the network to record viewership for the night.

Showtime's most popular series, "Dexter" had a total of 3.04 million viewers with the broadcast, first shown at 9 p.m. and then repeated at 11 p.m., according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It was followed by Emmy winner "Homeland," whose second season premiere was up 60 percent over its first. The espionage drama, which also had an encore, drew an audience of 2.07 million viewers. Last season, "Homeland" averaged 4.4 million viewers across all platforms (including DVR, OnDemand, encores and streaming). Its finale drew 5 million viewers across all platforms, making it the most-watched finale of any first-season show on the network.

"Homeland" won six Emmy awards last week, including the prestigious best drama prize and best actor and best actress in a drama series for stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

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