‘Under’ rates over the top

HBO taking advantage of skein's populartiy with quick turnaround

NEW YORK — “Six Feet Under” went out with a bang in its two-hour season finale on Aug. 19, scoring a 13.4 average rating in HBO homes, the show’s best numbers yet.

HBO is taking advantage of audience enthusiasm for the show by prepping the next 13-episode season. Alan Ball, the creator and co-executive producer, is already working on the scripts, and production resumes in Los Angeles in four weeks.

The new episodes will be on HBO’s schedule within the next six months.

The second hour of “Six Feet Under” averaged a 13.8 rating, which tied it for the best rating that “Sex & the City,” considered a smash HBO hit, has ever chalked up.

“The show has become a hit, and I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven,” said Bob Greenblatt, who, with his partner Dave Janollari, is one of the executive producers of the skein.

Greenblatt attributes the huge ratings amassed by the series all season long not only to the “addictive” nature of the show’s plot developments but to the “setting of the table” for successful programs by HBO’s existing series hits “The Sopranos” and “Sex & the City.”

“Who knew that a show about death, scheduled during the summer doldrums, could break out the way ‘Six Feet Under’ has,” he said.

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