TV Ratings: 'True Detective' Finale Scores Series High

UPDATED: The anthology closes out its first season as the network's most-watched freshman since "Six Feet Under" in 2001.
Lacey Terrell/HBO

Whoever signs on to star in the very likely second season of True Detective has big shoes to fill.

The anthology's freshman finale, which brought an end to the story of Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey's 17-year murder case, brought in a series high 3.5 million viewers on Sunday night. That's up 50 percent from the premiere just two months ago.

What's more, the latest gross viewership for the show has an average 11 million viewers tuning in every week. When final DVR and HBO Go views are taken into account, that number stands to grow even more. It already ranks as the most-watched freshman series HBO has had since Six Feet Under in 2001.

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Sunday's HBO Go crash is evident of widespread interest in the series, particularly from multi-platform viewers. The streaming service briefly shut down on Sunday night after the episode went live. "Due to overwhelming interest in the season finale of True Detective, HBO Go was hit with an excessive amount of traffic soon after 9 p.m. ET last night," read a network statement. "The issue has since been rectified and the service is now back to normal."

On TV, live-plus-same day returns for True Detective grew even more with an encore. Across plays, the finale brought in 4.9 million viewers -- also a high.

True Detective hasn't officially been renewed for a sophomore season, but it is very much in the cards. The strong ratings and critical buzz quickly led to an overall deal for creator-writer Nic Pizzolatto. An anthology series, True Detective would return with a new cast and new story.