The season premiere of the final season of  HBO‘s True Blood tallied a gross audience of 5.8 million viewers Sunday night, across its four plays — up from last season’s debut night haul of 5.6 million viewers.  At 9 PM, viewership averaged 4 million viewers — down about 500,000 compared to its sixth-season premiere —  with another 1 million, 498,000 and 262,000 added at 10 PM, 11:30 PM and 1:00 AM, respectively.  Last season, the vampire drama logged  an average gross audience of 10.7 million viewers.

Last September, HBO announced the veteran vampire drama, created by Alan Ball and based on Charlaine Harris’ books, was coming to an end. That after it had been recently renewed for a 10-episode seventh season. “True Blood has been nothing short of a defining show for HBO,” the network’s president of programming Michael Lombardo said in September. “Together with its legions of fans, it will be hard to say goodbye to the residents of Bon Temps, but I look forward to what promises to be a fantastic final chapter of this incredible show.” True Blood, starring Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, had been HBO’s flagship drama until it was eclipsed by Game Of Thrones. That said, True Blood was  still a potent draw, with that sixth-season opening 4.5 million viewers  and its gross audience of 10.7 million viewers per episode. For its seventh, and final season, the series is running with the tagline, “True To The End.”