'White Collar' starts strong, 'Dexter' on the rise

matthewbomer_whitecollar_290.jpgUSA's new series "White Collar" got off to a solid start on Friday, drawing better than 5 million viewers. Two nights later, Showtime's "Dexter" notched the most-watched episode in its history.

"White Collar" drew 5.4 million viewers for its debut, matching the audience for its lead-in, "Monk." Those numbers are in line with a lot of recent USA series premieres -- better than "Burn Notice's" debut, less than "Royal Pains" earlier this year and "Psych" in 2006 and about the same as "In Plain Sight" last year.

The show, which stars Matthew Bomer as a con artist who works with an FBI agent (Tim DeKay) in exchange for staying out of jail, earned mostly positive reviews. And while it didn't beat any of the broadcast networks in its 10 p.m. time period, it did draw more viewers than a few other Friday-night shows, including "Ugly Betty," "Supernanny" and "Dollhouse."

Sunday's episode of "Dexter," meanwhile, drew 1.68 million viewers, passing the Sept. 27 season premiere to become the most-watched episode ever of the series. Combined with an encore later in the night, the episode reached 2.05 million people.

Showtime says "Dexter" is averaging better than 4 million viewers per episode when multiple replays, DVR use and on-demand plays are taken into account.

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