HBO's 'Enlightened' Off To A Soft Start

Opening a new night of original programming is not easy, so expectations for HBO’s new Monday 9 PM comedy block — which faces CBS’ comedies, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, Fox’s House and ESPN’s Monday Night Football — were modest. Even by that standard, the well-received new Mike White/Laura Dern comedy Enlightened opened low with 210,000 viewers at 9:30 PM. It slipped a little from its lead-in, the third-season premiere of Bored To Death, which drew 240,000 viewers. Quirky noir comedy Bored To Death was down dramatically from its season premiere last fall, which averaged 1.05 million viewers, but back then, the show aired on Sundays following Boardwalk Empire, which drew 3.33 million viewers on the night of the Bored debut. This time around, it is dark comedy Hung that follows Boardwalk Empire and, like Bored to Death last year, it opened with 1.1 million viewers earlier this month. (Boardwalk Empire logged 2.6 million that night) Sophomore comedy How To Make It To America dropped further to 467,000 viewers at 10:30 PM. While soft, the numbers for Bored and Enlightened were only slightly down from the average for another half-hour series that aired outside HBO’s signature Sunday night, drama In Treatment.

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