June 15, 2010 at 03:32 PM EDT

True Blood‘s third season got off to a strong, if not record-breaking, start on Sunday.

The first original episode in nine months attracted 5.1 million viewers, up 38 percent over last summer’s season 2 opener but down slightly from the show’s 5.3 million peak (for an episode that aired last August).

With the 11 pm replay factored in, True Blood ended the night with 6.4 million total viewers.

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