Although it remains a powerhouse performer for HBO (and a standout among all scripted cable series), “True Blood” dipped considerably from its season premiere this week.
Episode two of the third season dropped to 4.259 million viewers with a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating, according to a report on Mediaweek. HBO noted that the 11PM airing added another 1.3 million viewers to the tally.
As the drop of about 16% is roughly in-line with the pattern from last year, this is by no means a red flag or a sign that “True Blood” is anything less than a stellar performer for HBO. By the same token, as “Blood” is now a more established series for HBO, the lofty intra-season growth demonstrated over the second season might not be as plausible. “True Blood” will remain HBO’s flagship series, but it might finally have identified its apex audience level between last season’s finale and last week’s season premiere.
“Treme,” meanwhile, failed to end its first season on a high note. Down to just 0.931 million viewers with a 0.4 adults 18-49 rating, “Treme,” in addition to offering up a low number, disappointed further by losing much of the “True Blood spike” it received last week. The season closer’s viewership was also well below that of the season premiere, which garnered the eyeballs of 1.4 million viewers.
Based on its early performance and critical acclaim, “Treme” quickly scored a second season renewal, but the battle for HBO will now be figuring out a way to clot the viewership bleed.