'True Blood' shines

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HBO's second-season premiere of "True Blood" earned a series record-setting 3.7 million viewers, making it the most-watched program on the network since "The Sopranos' " finale two years ago.

Despite facing the last game of the NBA Finals, the Sunday telecast was up 157% compared to the first-season premiere and up 51% from the first-season finale.

If you fold in the show's 11 p.m. encore, "True Blood" was seen by 5.1 million viewers, easily the largest Sunday total for the series.

Meanwhile, rival premium network Showtime had good news as well. The second episode of "Nurse Jackie" on Monday night was up 8% to 1.1 million viewers after last week's record-setting premiere. The first-week cumulative viewership for all airings of the "Jackie" premiere was 3.7 million.

Also on cable: The third episode of TLC's "Jon & Kate Plus 8" included a visit with the Teutul family from "American Chopper," yet the reality show's viewership continued to slide.

"Jon & Kate" was seen by 2.9 million viewers, down 31% from last week, which in turn was down 41% from its enormous 9.8 million season premiere.

Two sharp drops were expected given the show's tabloid-fueled debut, and 2.9 million is about the same as the show's fourth-season average.
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