With some new beginnings, a final goodbye and a shift in time, HBO‘s True Blood came to an end last night after seven seasons. On a night of NFL preseason football on NBC, the MTV Video Music Awards and the Season 1 finale of TNT’s The Last Ship, the 70-minute broadcast of the Anna Paquin-Stephen Moyer vampire drama drew 4 million viewers for its 9 PM airing. That’s steady with the 4.14 million that watched the Season 6 finale on August 18 last year, which also faced football. It is also even with the 4 million who watched the June 22 Season 7 debut of the drama created by Alan Ball based on Charlaine Harris’ books at 9 PM. That season debutended up pulling in 5.8 million viewers across its four plays. The Season 6 ender had a total of 5 million viewers over all its plays in August 2013. Season 6 averaged 10.6 million viewers in gross audience across different platforms. Last night’s finale was seen by 4.5 million over all its plays for a season average of 9.4 million viewers.
Once HBO’s flagship drama until the rise of Game Of Thrones, the premium cable network announced last September that the series would come to an end with the final 10 episodes of Season 7. Last night’s TB finale helped push its recently renewed lead-out The Leftovers to a new viewership high of 1.9 million watching its initial 10 PM airing. Over on sister station Cinemax, the third episode of the Steven Soderbergh-directed The Knick saw the freshman series was up 15% from its debut viewership with 754,000 watching on August 22.