HBO’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy “Veep” debuted to 1.4 million viewers Sunday, according to Nielsen estimates, and totaled 1.7 million for its two airings on the night.
The comedy that had been airing in the 10 o’clock timeslot for HBO, “Eastbound and Down,” averaged a little over 1 million viewers for its initial telecasts this season and wrapped with 1.14 million last Sunday.
“Veep” stars Louis-Dreyfus, a sitcom vet familiar to auds after more than 250 combined episodes of “Seinfeld” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” The comedy series bowed six weeks after HBO aired original movie “Game Change,” which chronicled the quick rise of real-life VP hopeful Sarah Palin and drew 2.12 million viewers in its initial airing on a Saturday night.
With “Veep” as its lead-in, “Girls” held steady in viewership in its second week for HBO. It drew 858,000 viewers in its regular 10:30 p.m. timeslot and added 257,000 for its repeat airing two hours later for a total of 1.1 million viewers.
The comedies followed strong second-year drama “Game of Thrones,” which drew a 1.8 national rating in adults 18-49 and 3.7 million viewers in its 9 o’clock timeslot; it drew 4.6 million viewers combined for its two airings Sunday. “Thrones” achieved a ratings feat a couple of weeks ago by ruling as cable’s top-rated program in both adults 18-49 and total viewers — topping all basic cable entries.
Showtime saw slight declines for the initial telecasts of its Sunday series “Nurse Jackie” (531,000), “The Borgias” (509,000) and “The Big C” (442,000).
In basic cable, Lifetime’s combo of “Army Wives” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.91 million viewers overall) and “The Client List” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.75m) were up week to week in demos.
AMC’s “Mad Men” (0.9/2, 2.66m) and “The Killing” (0.6/1, 1.65m) were flat or down slightly in key categories.
The cable leader was Bravo with its 9-11 p.m. reality lineup of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 3.23m) and “Real Housewives of New Jersey” (1.5/4, 2.96m), which set Sunday records for the net in all key demos. The two-hour block was roughly on par in 18-49 with original scripted programming on ABC and CBS.