‘Boardwalk Empire’ Returns to Lower Ratings in Fourth Season

boardwalk Empire Season 4 Ratings

HBO drama draws 2.4 million opposite football

HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” returned Sunday night to a smaller audience for its fourth-season premiere, no doubt impacted by the big NFL game featuring New York’s Giants.

Nielsen estimates that the Prohibition era drama starring Steve Buscemi averaged 2.4 million viewers for its regular-timeslot telecast — down from the 2.9 million who watched the kickoff of the show in both 2011 and 2012. It’s a bit above the 2.3 million that “Boardwalk” averaged for all episodes a year ago.

By comparison to other HBO dramas, the first telecast of the most recent season of “True Blood” drew 4.52 million while “Game of Thrones” did 4.37 million and “The Newsroom” got 2.22 million.

“Boardwalk Empire” faced tough competition from the season premiere of TV’s top-rated “Sunday Night Football” on NBC, whose New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys matchup drew about 25 million viewers — and likely stole some male viewers in New York who may have otherwise tuned in to the HBO drama on its premiere night.

A replay of “Boardwalk” drew about 800,000 late Sunday, bringing the cume audience for the show to 3.2 million.

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  1. dmknyc says:

    I love Boardwalk, but like to watch it all at once. It’s so dense, like a novel, I’d rather not do the week to week thing. I hope HBO takes their HBOGo #s into consideration, because I’ve never watched it live.

  2. Julienne says:

    Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones are the two best Series on the air. The Net’s have NOTHING comparable.

  3. JoeR says:

    I can’t believe that networks and advertisers STILL give Nielsen ratings any credence in this day and age. Especially, as John L indicated, viewing options are not limited to a premiere date/time. For the record, in all my decades on the planet, neither Nielsen (or anyone else) as ever asked what I’m watching. At any rate, BOARDWALK remains one of the best shows on television and the premiere episode did not disappoint.

  4. They ought to revise how the viewers are judged going by a cumulative of how many watched on demand as well since thats when I saw it after midnight. If they went by how many watched when it premiered there and on hbogo.com then they’d be able to say ok, this is really how many people we got watching. Thats the whole double-edged sword of having so many viewing choices. You have to plug all of them into the pre-existing equation. Nothing comes without hard work, diligence and leaving people looking to be creative alone.

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