HBO’s Enlightened Debuts to a Very Small Audience, Even for HBO

Laura Dern in Enlightened Photo: HBO

Over the last decade, HBO has made Sunday its signature night of programming, launching numerous well-reviewed shows that have also done well in the ratings: The Sopranos, Sex and the City, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Curb Your Enthusiasm, et al. Last night, the network decided to take one existing show that has done okay on Sundays (the comedy Bored to Death) and move it Mondays at 9 p.m., where it served as the lead-in for a new HBO series (the Laura Dern–led Enlightened). So how'd that work out? Well ...

In other Nielsen news, Oprah Winfrey's OWN got some good news with the debuts of its new Rosie O'Donnell talk show and the debut of Oprah's Lifeclass. O'Donnell's gabfest drew 497,000 viewers in its 7 p.m. time slot, up 238 percent versus what the channel did in October 2010 (when it was called Discovery Health). Winfrey's show actually was less of a draw than Rosie O (awkward!): Her TV lecture was seen by 333,000 viewers on OWN; that's up about 100 percent versus October 2010. While neither show matched the 839,000 viewers OWN drew last spring with the prime-time Sunday debut of Shania Twain's reality show, the year-to-year gains are good signs for OWN, which has struggled since its January unveiling.