HDTV Ratings: December 5

TV One’s new American police drama, Southland, last night sharply improved on its premiere and even out-rated HD lead-in Criminal Minds in one key demographic.

It drew 7.1% of household shoppers with kids, which was nearly three times as many as last week’s episode and only a point lower than TV2’s rival cop show, Rookie Blue.

With TV One’s target audience, 25-54 year-olds, it rated 5.2% (compared with 3.8% for the premiere and 6.7% for Rookie Blue), and drew 4.1% of 18-49s and 4.8% of 18-39s (compared with 2.9% the previous week).

Although Southland isn’t in HD, it will be from season three – which TV One may be encouraged to screen back-to-back with the first two seasons if their combined 13 episodes rate well over summer.

An hour earlier, a season-five re-run of Criminal Minds rated 6% of 25-54s, 4.5% of 18-49s, 5.1% of 18-39s and 6.2% of HHS/kids.

TV2’s HD sleuthing alternative, The Mentalist, again dominated the hour, with 2-3 times Criminal Minds’ viewership.

At 7pm, TV2’s HD serial, Shortland Street, continues to dwarf Close-Up and Campbell Live with 3-5 times as many viewers and was easily the most popular show of the night, which TV2 capped with the US Shameless rating 2.3%-3.3% of key demos.

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