'Righteous Gemstones' Scores HBO's Biggest Comedy Series Debut in 3 Years

Danny McBride's The Righteous Gemstones gave HBO its biggest comedy series premiere since... McBride's last series for the premium cabler. Lead-in Succession was steady in its second week.

The show, about a family of evangelical preachers, drew 844,000 viewers Sunday night across all HBO platforms. The on-air debut delivered 593,000, with replays and streaming pushing the total up by 42 percent.

The 844,000 is the biggest audience for an HBO comedy series premiere since McBride's Vice Principals brought in 1.2 million cross-platform viewers in July 2016.

The Righteous Gemstones stars McBride, John Goodman, Adam Devine, Edi Patterson, Cassidy Freeman, Walton Goggins, Tony Cavalero and Tim Baltz. McBride created the series and executive produces with his Rough House Pictures partners Jody Hill and David Gordon Green, who are both directing episodes.

Succession, meanwhile, drew 603,000 viewers for its initial airing Sunday, on par with the 612,000 who tuned in to the season two premiere on Aug. 11. Replays and streaming pushed the show to a little above 1 million viewers, off a bit from the series-high 1.2 million who watched the premiere across all platforms.

The episode grew by about 66 percent from the on-air numbers, versus a 96 percent bump the previous week. Sunday's installment ranks as the second-most-watched episode of Succession on its opening night, behind the season two debut.