Primetime Soap Ratings: 10.1 Million Watch Downton's Season 5 Premiere; Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce Hits Series High

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Soaps

Two of my favorite primetime soaps are celebrating good showings in the Nielsens. The Season 5 premiere of Downton Abbey was watched by 10.1 million viewers on PBS; while Bravo's Girlfriends Guide to Divorce hit a series high.

Although Season 5's U.S. premiere wasn't quite as strong as Season 4's 10.2 million debut, there's no denying Downton is still one of television's biggest hits. The period drama netted a massive 6.1 rating among households.

The U.S. premiere of Downton's fifth season found the Crawleys dealing with a new progressive government taking shape in 1920's England. The Abbey was also threatened by a fire.

“We’re incredibly excited that Downton Abbey’s fans came out in force for the premiere of what has become a cultural phenomenon," said PBS Programming Chief Beth Hoppe. "We'll also be looking at time-shifted and online viewing over the next few weeks as the season progresses. Hoppe went on to thank Masterpiece and Carnival Films, which co-produce the British serial.

Bravo's premiere scripted dramedy, Girlfriends Guide to Divorce was watched by a series-high 1.4 million the week of December 30. The fifth outing of the Marti Noxon vehicle, based on Vicki Iovine's book series, increased the previous installment by double digits.

If you're a fan of chick lit adaptations featuring neurotic, well-dressed heroines, you'll like Girlfriend's Guide. The show centers of self-help guru Abby McCarthy (Lisa Edelstein), whose life and career are upended by the breakup of her marriage.