Sopranos scores big ratings hit

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The Sopranos got its third season off to a bang Sunday night drawing 11.3 million viewers, the second largest audience ever for an HBO show.

The two-hour season opener of the hit HBO slice-of-life mafia drama scored a 20.5 in HBO's 32-million household universe and a 6.6 rating in national Nielsen numbers for all TV households. Ratings for this season's long-awaited Sopranos premiere topped last season's operning episode by 20%.

HBO's telecast Tyson-Bruno fight in 1989 is the only one to draw a larger audience for the AOL Time Warner premium cable network. - Richard Tedesco

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