'Succession' Opens Season 2 With Series High Ratings

Succession Still_ - Publicity - H 2019
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

HBO's Succession attracted its biggest first-night audience ever with Sunday's second-season premiere.

Including replays and streaming, the drama drew 1.2 million viewers, its biggest audience ever. That's a 22 percent improvement over the same tally for the first-season finale a year ago (997,000) and a 32 percent bump over the series debut in June 2018 (918,000). 

The on-air debut for Succession — which picked up with media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his scheming family right after the events of the first-season finale — delivered 612,000 viewers. That's up from 582,000 for the series premiere and a little ahead of the season-one average of 603,000. The second-season premiere ranks as the fifth-most-watched episode of the show when it first airs; the first-season finale heads that list with 730,000 viewers.

As is increasingly the case for HBO and other premium cable series, however, the on-air audience for the premiere was only about half of the total on Sunday. Replays and streaming accounted for 588,000 viewers — a 96 percent gain on the initial audience.

The near doubling of the linear audience represents an even bigger gain than that of the Euphoria premiere, which rose by 70 percent from streaming and replays on its debut night.

Season one of Succession averaged 4.3 million viewers across all platforms, about seven times its linear average.