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Ratings: HBO’s ‘True Detective’ Strong in Return; ‘Ballers’ Off to Solid Start

HBO’s crime drama anthology series “True Detective” returned strong on Sunday with about 3.2 million viewers — its second largest audience to date — for its initial telecast.

The high for “True Detective” remains the show’s first-season finale in March (3.52 million), according to Nielsen. The series debuted in January of last year with 2.33 million.

The first season of “True Detective,” which was set in Louisiana and starred Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, captured five Primetime Emmy Awards. Season two of the series, starring Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch, Rachel McAdams and Vince Vaughn, is set in California.

Review: ‘True Detective,’ Season 2

Airing after “True Detective” on Sunday, the series premiere of Dwayne Johnson football comedy “Ballers” drew 2.16 million. This edges out the second-season premiere of “Silicon Valley” (2.13 million) as the network’s most-watched comedy episode since the series finale of “Entourage” in 2011 (2.61 million). Among current comedies, the highest for “Veep” has been 1.38 million for its series premiere in April 2012, and the best for “Girls” is 1.11 million in January 2014.

Ballers” was followed Sunday night by the premiere of “The Brink,” starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins, which drew followed at 10:30 p.m. with 1.6 million viewers.

One week earlier in the 10 p.m. half-hour, “Silicon Valley” ended its second year with a near-series best 2.11 million viewers for its regular-timeslot telecast — though its lead-in, “Game of Thrones” (8.11 million), was more than twice as big as “True Detective.” And “Veep” drew a season-best 1.11 million at 10:30.

Reviews: ‘Ballers,’ ‘The Brink’

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