The numbers are in, "True Blood" season premiere generated 3.7 million viewers on Sunday, June 14. When HBO re-ran the episode again later that night at 11/10c, the accumulative number rose up to 5.1 million. The vampire series consequently becomes "the most watched original program" since the series finale of "The Sopranos" in June 2007.
The season 2 premiere rating is a descent escalation compared to the first season debut which only drew about 1.4 million viewers and later was in jeopardy as one of the series to suffer a flop. However as the new series ran through, it gained loyal viewers and more new fans that the finale absorbed 2.4 million viewers.
For one thing, HBO had been heavy on promoting the series before the season 2 hit the screen. The ads plus the production cost contribute to the amount of money spent for this series, which is not cheap. While regular shows need around $2 million to produce an episode, "True Blood" sucks in $3- 4 million per episode. However, should the rating continue at the same rate, then it will bring the cable network a modest income.
Not only that, the DVD sales of the first season is also one considerable factor. In just two weeks from its release in mid May, more than 700,000 copies were sold, meaning the sale garners HBO roughly around $26 million.
Benefiting from the rating increase is "Hung" which is a new series that HBO orders for its summer line-up. The series about a high-school teacher meeting a dead end and becoming a male escort afterwards will premiere on June 28.