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HBO had a very good Sunday night.
Despite competition from the Golden Globes, new drama True Detective took in 2.3 million viewers during its inaugural telecast. That’s the biggest HBO premiere since Boardwalk Empire (4.8 million) in 2010. It narrowly edged out Game of Thrones, which opened to 2.2 million viewers in 2011.
As for returning comedy Girls, the show was at a first-run series high with 1.1 million viewers at 10 p.m. That’s a 28 percent jump from its season-two opener. The second episode, airing in the half-hour where freshman comedy Looking debuts next Sunday, took 881,000 viewers.
The jump bodes well for Girls, already renewed for a fourth season.
HBO series, like their premium cable brethren, tend to see the biggest numbers in gross viewership that account for encores, OnDemand plays and streams on the HBO Go service.
For the night, True Detective raked in 3.3 million viewers. Girls took 1.6 million for its first episode and 1.2 million viewers for the second. On average, Girls grossed 5 million weekly viewers last season.
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