This is so not surprising to anybody who’s watching HBO’s True Detective: The freshman drama’s ratings have climbed to a series high.
Sunday’s episode of Detective had a best-yet 2.6 million viewers for its first airing at 9 p.m., up 13 percent from its previous high, which was the crime anthology’s Jan. 13 season premiere. Across three plays for the night, Detective racked up 3.6 million, also a new best. During the season to date, Detective has an average audience of 10.9 million viewers across all HBO plays and platforms.
While dramas on broadcast network often launch to high ratings, given their big platform and heavy publicity, and then ebb steadily downward, dramas that debut on cable networks like HBO often launch to modest numbers and then slowly gain viewers. At least, that’s what the successful ones do.
Curiously, HBO has not yet officially announced a second season for True Detective, though everybody is (rightly) assuming there will be one. HBO often gives a drama a pretty quick renewal out of the gate if the ratings are strong or the buzz is big; True Detective has solidish numbers and strong acclaim and early awards buzz. Creator Nic Pizzolatto seemed to tease on Twitter earlier this week that next season, which will have a different cast, might star two female detectives.
The rest of HBO’s evening was less impressive: Girls had 916,000 viewers at 10 p.m. (1.3 million for the night) while freshman series Looking hit a series high at 10:30 p.m. with 519,000 viewers (749,000 for night). Season to date, Girls is at 4.3 million and Looking is at 2 million.