Airing against the big football game on NBC, the third season finale of HBO’s True Blood drew 5.4 million viewers, up 5% from the second season finale and just 60,000 viewers shy of last week’s series high. Another 1.1 million watched vampire drama’s closer at 11:30 PM. Following True Blood, the finales of Hung and Entourage brought in 2.3 and 2.7 million viewers, respectively, down from last week’s averages of 2.5 million and 2.9 million. All 3 HBO series have already been renewed for another season. Over at TNT, The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles wrapped up their red-hot summer seasons last night with 7.2 million and 6.6 million viewers, respectively. The two dramas rank as the most watched cable series ever.
Speaking of the Sunday football game, NBC today released the final numbers. The Sunday Night Football season premiere featuring the Cowboys vs. Redskins averaged 25.3 million viewers to become the most-watched Week 1 primetime game in 14 years and the most-watched SNF game ever.
UPDATE: Football kept the momentum with another big showing on Monday. The 2010 season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader on ESPN delivered the network’s highest-rated and most-viewed opening night, helping ESPN win the night among all networks (broadcast or cable) in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos. The Baltimore Ravens’ 10-9 road victory over the New York Jets in the first prime-time game at the New Meadowlands Stadium at 7 p.m. ET drew 15 million viewers, the second largest audience for any program on cable television in 2010. It is the highest rating of ESPN’s 10 MNF opening night games. At 10:15 p.m., the Kansas City Chiefs’ 21-14 win over the San Diego Chargers averaged 11.9 million viewers.