'Anderson' opens soft, but has to volley with tennis

HBO’s “Entourage” said goodbye to Hollywood on Sunday night, closing out its eighth and final season with 2.6 million viewers.

Pay cabler also telecast two other season finales prior to the “Entourage” airing. The fourth season of “True Blood” recorded 5.1 million viewers in its 9 p.m. showing and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” was watched by 2 million viewers at 10 o’clock.

None of the finales saw a ratings uptick. HBO took a big hit from NBC’s NFL opening weekend contest between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets. The game — 10 years to the date since the 9/11 terrorist attacks — drew 25.8 million viewers, including many men who often watch “Curb” and “Entourage” on Sundays.

“True Blood” had a strong season, averaging 12.6 million viewers when HBO on Demand, DVR usage and repeat telecasts are included.

Next up for HBO is “Boardwalk Empire,” launching its second season Sept. 25. Prohibition-era drama, which may make a splash at the Emmys on Sunday, drew 4.8 million viewers for the initial showing of its pilot last year.

On the syndie side, the post-“Oprah Winfrey Show” era got under way Monday in daytime. Launch of “Anderson” averaged 1.1/3 in households, fighting off coverage of the U.S. Open men’s tennis championship in some key markets.

The atypical premiere situation for “Anderson,” brought about by rain delays at the tennis matches in New York, will add to analyst caution as far as constructing an initial assessment of the performance of Telepictures’ “Anderson.”

Scoring highest in daytime Monday was “The Dr. Oz Show” (Sony), which rode its inheritance of the “Oprah” timeslot in 80 markets to a 3.8 in households, matching its best single-day rating ever. Returning syndie talker “Ellen” averaged a 2.6 in households.

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