On a packed Sunday night that saw the MTV VMAs take the stage, a NFL preseason game on NBC and the series finale of HBO‘s True Blood, TNT certainly had some wind in its freshman sails. Ending its run as the top new series of the year so far and looking to secure TNT the top summer spot among basic cable networks, The Last Ship pulled in 4.4 million viewers for its 9 PM August 24 finale. Compared with what was going on at HBO, the dystopia-in-action drama beat the finale of the long-running True Blood by 10% in total viewers. While down 17% from the Michael Bay-produced show’s blockbuster June 22 debut, the season finale of the recently renewed series was up 6% from its August 17 show for its fourth-best result of Season 1. Over all its Sunday plays, Last Ship had 5.6 million total viewers, with 2.1 million adults 25-54 and 1.7 million 18-49s.
Last Ship’s lead-out Falling Skies also got a bit of a lift for its penultimate week. With the Steven Spielberg-produced alien-invasion series set to wrap its fourth season with a two-hour finale on August 31, this week’s FS had 2.56 million viewers. That’s basically steady with Falling Skies’ August 17 show. Season-to-season, the August 24 episode of Falling Skies was down 17% from the comparable July 28 broadcast of last year. With its midnight play, the first part of the FS season finale had a total of 3.4 million viewers, with 1.5 million in the 25-54s and 1.2 million among the 18-49s. Like The Last Ship, Falling Skies will also be back. TNT picked up the show for a fifth and final season on July 18.