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'Homeland' finale delivers biggest audience ever

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Homeland Review

The third season finale of Showtime’s Homeland set a new record for the series: Homeland had 2.4 million viewers for its 9 p.m. premiere and totaled 2.9 million viewers for the night. That’s the show’s biggest take ever.

The finale was also up 27 percent compared to last year’s closer. Homeland is Showtime’s top-rated show and season 3 has now exceeded seven million viewers per week in all cumulative viewing — that’s a record performance for the network, even surpassing Dexter.

See our first-blush take on Homeland‘s big shakeup (and whether the show’s ratings will continue to stay high given last night’s events) and our must-read Q&A with showrunner Alex Gansa explaining Brody’s fate and teasing season 4 plans.

Also last night: Showtime’s Masters of Sex finished its freshman run with 1.2 million viewers for its finale premiere and 1.5 million for the night. Quite a big drop-off from Homeland, but the period drama is averaging 4.8 million per episode in cumulative viewing, which is higher than the first season of Homeland. Between these ratings and the show’s recent Golden Globes nominations, Showtime is surely optimistic that Masters could grow next year.

UPDATE: ‘Homeland’: Damian Lewis talks finale tragedy