'True Blood' final season premieres to solid TV ratings

By Kyle Johnson,

The seventh and final season of True Blood premiered on Sunday night to solid numbers in the ratings for HBO.

The episode, "Jesus Gonna Be Here," snagged 4 million viewers with the initial telecast, and the number balloons to 5.8 million viewers spread across the four total airings of the episode. That is a 3 percent increase from the sixth season debut last year.

During the previous season, Sookie and company managed to average 10.7 million viewers spread across all platforms.

While True Blood returned about in line with the sixth season, the show did outperform several other programs on the night. According to TVByTheNumbers, the Southern vampire drama managed to top just about all cable programs for the night, especially when Live+ numbers are included, giving the debut episode a 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic.

True Blood only lost out to ESPN's coverage of the U.S.-Portugal World Cup match, which more than doubled the audience for HBO's hit drama.

Of course, the numbers don't compare to the other HBO juggernaut, Game of Thrones. The fantasy drama snagged 6.6 million viewers when it returned April 6, and the number jumps to 8.2 million when all airings are included.

image courtesy of Peter West/ACE/INFphoto.com

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