Nic Pizzolatto’s brooding drama True Detective picked up where it left off, opening its second season with 3.2 million viewers at 9 PM and 4.3 million for the night. The 9 PM premiere was up +36% from True Detective’s series debut (2.3 million viewers) and ranks as the anthology drama’s second most watched telecast, only behind the Season 1 finale (3.5 million viewers). On Twitter, True Detective‘s presence (50.9 K tweets) grew 83% vs the series premiere.
Dwayne Johnson’s social media prowess likely contributed to another strong premiere. On the heels of the solid opening weekend for Johnson’s disaster movie San Andreas, Johnson’s TV series, HBO comedy Ballers, debuted with 2.2 million viewers at 10 PM. The football-themed comedy edged Silicon Valley (2 million viewers behind Game of Thrones) to become HBO’s most watched half-hour series debut in six years, since Hung (2.8 million following True Blood). Replays and OD/NOW viewing lifted Ballers’s premiere night tally to 2.8 million viewers. With Johnson actively tweeting, Ballers not surprisingly garnered more buzz (17.9K Tweets) than any other HBO half-hour series premiere to-date.
At 10:30 PM, HBO’s other new comedy series, political satire The Brink starring Tim Robbins and Jack Black, opened with 1.6 million viewers (2.1 million including a replay and viewing on GO/NOW). While slipping from its Ballers lead-in, The Brink has done better than any HBO 10:30 PM comedy series in recent memory and outrated the debuts of both Veep (1.4 million following Game of Thrones) and Girls (810,000).
With Ballers and The Brink, HBO is looking to extend its comedy streak, with its two most recent series entries, Silicon Valley and Togetherness, both renewed for a second season.