Across multiple telecasts on Sunday night, the first episode of the mystery anthology series (this time starring Mahershala Ali) drew 2.3 million viewers. Per Entertainment Weekly, this includes the ratings for three separate telecasts. Across two telecasts, the second episode generated on average around 1.6 million viewers. These are down from the 3+ million who watched the start of season 2, but there are some things to consider here.
The long wait since season 2 – It’s been years since True Detective was on the air — as a matter of fact, it’s been so long that it was fair to wonder whether or not we were ever going to see more of the show again. Some viewers may just not be interested in the show anymore.
Also, there’s something else to remember here in just how much the world has changed — the same people who were watching season 2 live may not be watching any TV live now. They may be opting to wait a little while in order to check the show out, and that’s something HBO may get a better sense of in the DVR / streaming numbers down the line.
The polarizing nature of season 2 – While the majority of viewers who started season 2 ended up finishing it, at the same time that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of these people wanted to dive into another season. We think that there are a lot of people out there who are going to need to re-commit to the show. It has to win people over, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There can at times be something great about a show that is out to prove itself to be better and stronger than before.
In the midst of this entire conversation about ratings, there is something more that needs to be pointed out here — HBO cares more about network subscribers more than anything else. So while the numbers for True Detective are down so far versus season 2, if this show is bringing in the same number of subscribers, that’s what the network will want to see more than anything. They need some of those profits, and they need to figure out where to go moving forward now that their big viewership draws with Game of Thrones is coming to a close at the end of season 8.
What do you think about some of the True Detective season 3 ratings that we’re seeing so far? Share right now in the comments. (Photo: HBO.)