Sarah Connor, MTV's VMAs & HBO's True Blood and Entourage

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September 8th, 2008

I'm still digesting tonight's season two premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I liked it well enough, and I'm definitely down with a new, evil villain terminator of the mimetic poly-alloy variety. I want to take in another couple of episodes before weighing in further.

In the meanwhile, there have been several requests for Nielsen ratings data on the premiere of HBO's Allan Ball produced vampire series, True Blood. I didn't see the ratings for Sunday night's series premiere of True Blood or the season five premiere of Entourage. While this doesn't necessarily mean that the numbers completely sucked, it certainly suggests they weren't good enough to be boast-worthy. The tea leaves suggest Sue Naegle's reign at HBO is not off to a rollicking start, and we now have a few more leaves to read than we did in April.  Note: although True Blood was picked up by HBO before Naegle took the HBO gig, she brought the show to HBO in her capacity as a talent agent, so it seems fair to pin the show's results on her anyway.

The lack of boasting makes it seem unlikely either show will be among the weekly top forty cable show rankings we see from Nielsen. But hopefully we'll run into the numbers in one fashion or another.

Meanwhile Broadcasting and Cable reports that the MTV Video Music Awards performed very well, especially in the 12-34 demographic MTV targets. Sunday night's VMA was the highest rated telecast on cable among 12-34 year olds for the entire year.

The B&C report is somewhat convoluted because it didn't state the average total viewers for the airing, but rather the total reach (typically defined as watching at least 6 minutes worth) across both MTV and the simulcast on MTV2. But based on reach across both networks 23 million viewers tuned in for at least six minutes worth, with more than 12 million of them in the 12-34 demographic.

Update 9/9:  Neither True Blood nor Entourage were among the weekly cable top show rankings, but it was a week filled with convention coverage and sporting events.  All we can reasonably conclude from that is that neither show had better than a 2.5 household rating or more than around 3.8 million viewers.  My guess is quite a bit less for both shows, but that's speculation.

Update 9/9 Late: Variety is reporting that the initial airing of True Blood drew 1.4 million and would likely add another 700,000 viewers with its 10:30pm rebroadcast.

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