Despite True Blood's 9pm season two premiere averaging 3.7 million viewers, we almost didn't see the data in the weekly Nielsen cable top forty. Why? Because Nielsen sorts that list by household rating, not viewers, and with a 2.1 household rating, it was the 36th highest-rated cable show for the week. But, when it came to viewers, with 3.7 million it was the 18th most-watched cable airing of the week.
The lower household rating is not surprising in general for HBO. Because it's a premium subscription channel, it winds up being available in fewer than 1/3rd of the homes in the USA. The reason for its household ranking being 36th and its viewing ranking being 18th is simple. Relative to most other shows, there were more people per household watching it.
In fact, outside of WWE RAW with 1.55 viewers per household, True Blood had the highest viewers per household of any other show in the top forty with 1.51 viewers per household. For some comparisons, Royal Pains had 1.39 viewers per household. While The Closer with 1.33 viewers per household and In Plain Sight with 1.29 viewers per household, were more solitary pursuits.
Below is the weekly top 20 with some different information than we normally include, including the number of homes (HH Live+SD AA) household rating (Live+SD US AA%), and the average viewers per household. The Parent Trap (1.50) and Deadliest Catch (1.46) seemed comparatively more family-friendly.
|PROGRAMS||NET||DAY(S)||S TIME||HH Live+SD AA(000)||Live+SD US AA%||P2+ Live+SD AA(000)||Viewers per Household|
|CLOSER, THE||TNT||MONDAY||9:00 PM||5349||4.7||7139||1.33|
|WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)||USA||MONDAY||10:00 PM||3832||3.3||5935||1.55|
|ROYAL PAINS||USA||THURSDAY||10:00 PM||4022||3.5||5590||1.39|
|NASCAR POST RACE SHOW||TNT||SUNDAY||4:58 PM||3950||3.4||5531||1.40|
|BURN NOTICE||USA||THURSDAY||9:00 PM||3876||3.4||5242||1.35|
|SPRINT CUP RACNG/MICHIGAN||TNT||SUNDAY||1:59 PM||3754||3.3||5118||1.36|
|WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)||USA||MONDAY||9:00 PM||3274||2.9||4873||1.49|
|IN PLAIN SIGHT||USA||SUNDAY||10:00 PM||3312||2.9||4271||1.29|
|JON & KATE PLUS 8(S)-06/08/2009||TLC||MONDAY||9:00 PM||3262||2.8||4252||1.30|
|DEADLIEST CATCH||DISC||TUESDAY||9:00 PM||2878||2.5||4189||1.46|
|LAW & ORDER: CI (ORIG)||USA||SUNDAY||9:00 PM||3187||2.8||4141||1.30|
|PARENT TRAP, THE (1998)||DSNY||THURSDAY||8:00 PM||2740||2.4||4119||1.50|
|AMC PREMIERE EVENT (LONESOME DOVE PT 3&4)||AMC||SUNDAY||8:00 PM||2680||2.3||3745||1.40|
|ARMY WIVES||LIF||SUNDAY||10:00 PM||3079||2.7||3710||1.20|
|TRUE BLOOD||HBOM||SUNDAY||9:00 PM||2454||2.1||3700||1.51|