HBO Premieres: By the Numbers


Poor HBO.


They so need a new hit, and it looks like True Blood is not going to be it, despite a massive marketing campaign.


The premiere averaged only 1.44 million viewers (the canceled John From Cincinnatti debuted to 2 million more viewers last year).


Furthermore, only 1.645 million viewers tuned into Entourage - pretty much the closest thing HBO has to a hit right now - and that number is 29% smaller than the last season premiere's audience.


So...is HBO tanking because their programming just ain't that good anymore...or is everyone ditching their premium cable because economic times are tough?


Source: LA Times

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9 comments

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Sep 10, 2008 6:35PM EDT

You know, I watched True Blood through the links here on Sidereel because I cannot afford to pay for premium channels while gas is over $3.00 a gallon. So, I will bet there is something to that. However, I did like True Blood, alot. It takes place in a strange place, Cajun Louisiana, has interesting characters, and a new twist on Vampire stories (I know these books have been around for a while, I haven't read them yet) but seriously the idea that Vampires are out in Human society is different than most stories that hide them. The acting is good, the characters are well defined, though cliche', but if you've ever lived in a small town, you know those characters. I think it may need a little time to catch on, but I think they may find a hit on their hands. If they can get an Emmy nod, they're golden. Anna Paquin is actually pretty good and the dude that plays Bill the Vampire is errily sexy!

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Sep 10, 2008 7:12PM EDT

lol, loved that pic the first time i used it on my review and love it even more now, it's really a fantastic shot! as for those numbers, well what can you say other than the trite cliche: "oh, how the mighty have fallen!"

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Sep 10, 2008 7:15PM EDT

I agree with jackieu0225. I cannot afford the ridiculous price of an extra few channels when I have more important needs to take care of, despite the fact I enjoy HBO's shows.
It's places like Sidereel that I am able to get the episodes from and enjoy shows I otherwise could not afford to see.
Being from Louisiana myself, I read Miss Harris's novels and in fact have her latest waiting to be read. Her novels, while a bit too full of sex at times, are fantastic reads and I'm glad to see through the two episodes I viewed from here, that they're living up to the books just fine. I will be sorely dissappointed if this doesn't get a second season. Television needs more original content when it concerns the age-old tale of vampires.

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Sep 11, 2008 2:25PM EDT

I really enjoyed watching the two first episodes. I can't afford HBO right now and was looking for a way to watch True Blood...as I had seen the trailer and really wanted to check it out, so glad I found sidereel. I can't wait for episode 3! the ending of episode 2 was a little bit of a cliff hanger...

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Sep 14, 2008 6:49PM EDT

Agreed. HBO is just too expensive. They should really consider just switching over to online viewing. It's sort of ridiculous to pay to watch tv shows when it's becoming harder to fill up your car. I personally really hope that this show doesn't become one of the many gems to be dropped based on poor viewership.

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Sep 14, 2008 6:57PM EDT

Sales tax in Chicago is at 10.25%, highest in all of the U.S. Gas is 4.19 where I live right now. There is no way I can spare money to pay for HBO. I would say that it most likely is the tanking economy, and that premium cable isn't worth it right now.

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Sep 14, 2008 8:38PM EDT

LA Times can suck my :O

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Sep 15, 2008 9:49PM EDT

I think there are multiple factors involved with the decreased numbers that HBO is seeing. One, some people won't pay for the upgraded channels. I won't even pay for basic cable. But, I will pay for internet, which is another aspect to the issue. People can access television shows online, not only the new ones, but their old favorites as well. Three, hey might have had a viral campaign, but I don't remember seeing ANYTHING. The only reason I knew about the show is because I heard an interview with Alan Ball on NPR with Terri Gross. And most people in my area, don't really partake in the public radio scene. They may have spent a lot on the advertising, but it obviously didn't work and probably turned people off, since they didn't know what it meant.

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Sep 17, 2008 12:06PM EDT

I only found out about this show because I use this site. Here in the UK we avidly await American TV. We dont always get it at great times tho. Back in the day Seinfeld was aired at like three in the morning. I think if companies like HBO dont start thinking about figures in terms of long term then they are going to tank. Things are cancelled too quickly over there. Plugs are pulled after a crappy premiere or half season. Sometimes even the best shows need a little time and room to evolve and burrow in. The market is so saturated, we can use sites like this to watch all our old favs. What chance does fresh material have.
Ever seen Black Adder. Of course everyone has its comedy gold but the first season is diabolical. We call it the First and Worst. A legendary show but if it had premiered in America today it would have been axed.
As for gas prices I dont really agree that that has much to do with it. We pay £5.90 a gallon here so i think that would work out at $10.50. I could be wrong we pay over £5 ($10) for cigs.
I think people will pay. I just think you have to give them something worth paying for. We all pay for cable/sky and complain about it. If the shows were better even more would pay for cable.
Thats what I think but hey its just my opinion

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