There just weren’t a lot of people watching the debut of Looking on Sunday. The 10:30 PM premiere of the half-hour dramedy following the life, loves and friendship of a trio of gay men living in San Francisco drew just 338,000 viewers. While the show picked up another 268,000 viewers in its second play, that initial broadcast was a free fall from the 779,000 viewers that its lead-in Girls had. It also is down from the 881,000 viewers the second episode of Girls’ third season had in the 10:30 slot the week before.
To give the Looking debut some greater context, the Girls series premiere on April 15, 2012, pulled in 872,000 viewers — and like Looking that was an ensemble with no big stars. Of course, this past Sunday’s Girls was down at 10 PM from the series high of 1.1 million it hit on January 12. Part of that no doubt was the decline of its lead-in True Detective. The Southern gothic Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson serial killer drama averaged 1.7 million viewers at 9 PM. That’s down from the 2.3 million that TD’s debut had. Having said that, True Detective, which had 2.4 million viewers total over three plays Sunday, was sacked like everything else on TV that evening up by some pretty tough competition: the NFL‘s NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, which pulled in a blockbuster 55.9 million viewers.