Nielsen estimates that the first airing of the season’s sixth-season opener averaged about 4.5 million viewers Sunday at 9, down 15% from last year’s 5.2 million when the vampire drama didn’t oppose the NBA Finals. “True Blood” was also down 11% from last season’s finale in late August.
The 4.5 million puts it a bit above this spring’s season premiere of “Game of Thrones” (4.37 million), with that show then growing throughout its run and finishing with 5.39 million viewers a week ago.
For two telecasts Sunday night, “True Blood” drew a combined 5.6 million.
Leading up to the return of “True Blood,” HBO drew 2.3 million viewers for the 8:45 p.m. special “True Blood: Live From the Set” drew about 2.3 million viewers.
Next month, “The Newsroom” kicks off its season season on Sundays at 10 after “True Blood.”