The Danny McBride series premiered to 844,000 total viewers across all the cabler’s platforms, which represents the strongest opening for a comedy on HBO since the comedian’s “Vice Principals” launched to 1.2 million eyeballs in 2016.
The “Gemstones” premiere averaged a touch under 600,000 viewers during its 10 p.m. airing on Sunday night.
In other HBO ratings news, “Succession” held firm with over 1 million all platform viewers for the second episode of season 2, after soaring to a series high of 1.2 million viewers last week. The opening episode of the show’s sophomore season beat the previous high of 997,000 for the season 1 finale. Last week’s “Succession” viewership figure was also up an impressive 32% on the show’s series premiere which hit 918,000 viewers.
Set in present-day Texas, “The Righteous Gemstones” centers around the money grabbing televangelist family of Gemstones family — played by John Goodman, McBride, Edi Patterson and Adam Devine.
In his review of “The Righteous Gemstones,” Variety critic Daniel D’Addario noted that the series “retains some similar elements from McBride’s previous work,” notably that the actor plays a familiar character “whose self-regard swamps him and warps his relationships with family and even with reality.”
In comparing it to “Succession,” D’Addario said that the Gemstones “resemble a cracked-mirror reflection of their neighbors” the Roy family.