True Detective Season Two Premiere Up From Last Year’s

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Photo: HBO

Critics were mixed, but viewers seem inclined to give season two of True Detective a chance. HBO’s anthology series returned Sunday with an initial audience of 3.2 million same-day viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults under 50, according to Nielsen. While not as big as last spring’s season-one finale (3.5 million same-day), True D soared about 40 percent above its January 2014 series premiere (2.3 million viewers) and was easily the biggest show on cable Sunday. (It was a lightweight, however, compared to ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud, which attracted a whopping 8.7 million viewers at 8 p.m. the same night.) Perhaps even more encouraging for HBO: The very strong early numbers for the debut of Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s new comedy Ballers. The NFL-themed half-hour scored 2.2 million same-day viewers for its initial play and held on to 80 percent of the under-50 ratings for True D, and also appears to be the most-watched debut for an HBO comedy since the 2009 launch of Hung. Viewers also sampled new 10:30 p.m. comedy The Brink, which opened with 1.6 million same-day viewers. It’s worth noting that all of these numbers are just a snapshot of the actual audience for these shows: Once viewership from HBO Go, HBO Now, DVR replays, and same-week reruns are tallied, it’s likely all three shows will end up with an audience two to three times the size reported here. 

True Detective S2 Premiere Up From Last Year’s