HBO’s new Sunday night lineup got off to a strong start last weekend, with the highly-anticipated return of True Detective leading the way with 3.2 million viewers, a 39% jump from the anthology drama’s debut in January 2014.
The 9 p.m. premiere, which shifted the narrative from Louisiana to Southern California and featured an all-new cast toplined by Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch, was True Detective’s second most-watched episode behind last season’s finale (3.5 million).
Following True Detective was the debut of a pair of new comedies in Ballers and The Brink, both of which improved the time slots from the previous week. The Dwayne Johnson-led Ballers premiered to 2.2 million viewers at 10 p.m., up slightly from the 2.1 million that watched the second season finale of Silicon Valley. The Middle-Eastern set The Brink – which stars Jack Black and Tim Robbins – averaged 1.6 million viewers at 10:30 p.m., up 45% from Veep’s fourth-season finale last week (1.1 million).
It should be noted that Ballers and The Brink had a considerably smaller lead in from the 9 p.m. hour, as last week’s season finale of Game of Thrones – HBO’s most-watched series in its history – averaged a series-best 8.1 million viewers.