True Blood Achieves The Near Impossible

Stylishly perverse vampire drama True Blood continues to a ratings powerhouse in the US. Each week for the past few weeks its network, HBO, has been able to boast new record high viewing figures for the show as its audience just grows and grows. This is almost unheard of mid-way through a season’s run.

The second season premiered with 3.7 million viewers – a series high at the time. By episode four it was up to 3.9 million viewers, and for the past three Sundays it has gone from 4.3, to 4.4 to 4.5 million viewers.

And it’s not as if the show is starting from a low base. To put things in perspective, the 3.7 million figure was HBO‘s biggest audience since the final episode of The Sopranos. Also, HBO is is a pay-per-view channel, which means that its ratings are always lower than shows on the main networks (think Sky One versus BBC1), and yet True Blood is not far behind the ratings for scripted dramas on the main networks this summer (which are averaging around 5.5 million).

HBO is also claiming that if you add on things like people who have recorded the show to watch later, or caught it on the internet, it cumulated total is about 11.5 million viewers (but that could just be the same 4 million viewers watching it over and over again to relish the sight of Alexander Skarsgård (Eric the vampire) in the buff, or Anna Paquin‘s bare boobies.