TV Ratings: 'True Blood' Dips With Season 6 Premiere

Arlene Flower and Terry Bellefleur
John P. Johnson/HBO

Carrie Preston and Todd Lowe play the Bon Temps married couple and Merlotte's coworkers. 

True Blood returned to HBO on Sunday night -- and though its audience dropped by nearly 14 percent, year to year, the vampire drama still outranked the recent Game of Thrones opener.

The inaugural broadcast of Sunday's sixth-season premiere was seen by 4.5 million viewers. That's down 700,000 viewers from last season's 5.2 million haul. Adding the audience from an encore, True Blood brought in 5.6 million viewers altogether. The series, debuting its first episode without Alan Ball as showrunner, faced tougher-than-normal competition from Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

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Building steadily throughout its third season to a 5.4 million-strong finale and an average 13.6 million viewers across platforms, Game of Thrones recently eclipsed True Blood as HBO's most-watched series currently airing.

The special True Blood: Live From the Set averaged 2.3 million viewers at 8:45 p.m.