January 22, 2014 10:44am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Looking' Gets a Soft Launch, 'True Detective' Scores Huge DVR Boost
HBO's latest Sunday lineup is now complete with the Jan. 19. launch of Looking. The comedy about gay men living in San Francisco, paired with Girls at 10:30 p.m., averaged 338,000 viewers during its premiere episode. Looking went on to gross 606,000 viewers with encores.
The time slot debut gives it less than half of its lead-in's audience, but one comparable with recent comedy launches on the network. Girls averaged 799,000 viewers in its second Sunday and third episode of the season, down 300,000 from last week's series high.
Girls, already renewed for its fourth season, remains a big time-shifting player. The premiere has already exceeded 3 million viewers. Last season saw an average 5 million weekly viewers tuning in across platforms.
As for True Detective, HBO's new anthology drama averaged 1.67 million viewers during its second outing. That's down from the premiere's 2.3 million viewers -- a three-year high for an HBO launch. The show is looking to be a particularly big hit with time-shifters, however. The premiere has netted 6.3 million viewers according to preliminary data. That number will grow.
Little as it cares about live ratings, HBO is avoiding an obvious conflict with the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. In lieu of airing originals against the biggest event of the TV calendar, the network has shifted comedies Girls and Looking to Saturday, Feb. 1, with the originals encoring in the regular slots on Sunday. True Detective will take the week off entirely.