11:13am PT by Michael O'Connell
'True Blood' Finale Hits Season-High Ratings
HBO said goodbye to one of its all-time biggest hits on Sunday night with the series finale of True Blood.
Although the vampire drama certainly waned in recent years — viewership hit a weekly high of 13 million in 2010 — it remained a powerhouse for the pay cable network. And last night, 4 million viewers tuned in to send the show off during the 9 p.m. premiere telecast.
In addition to marking a season high for the series, it was also more or less even with last summer's ender. (That episode took in 4.1 million viewers.) With an encore, True Blood's tally rose to 4.5 million viewers — against particularly stiff competition from MTV's VMAs and preseason football.
Of course, True Blood's final tally will come later. Season-to-date, True Blood has been averaging 9.4 million weekly viewers once encore, on-demand and HBO Go plays are taken into account.
Elsewhere in the HBO family, The Knick continues to grow on Cinemax. Season-to-date, the series is averaging 2.7 million viewers. And the recently renewed The Leftovers scored a series high of 1.9 million viewers, no doubt aided by its lofted True Blood lead-in.