Despite all the free news blog publicity that HBO’s new drama has been garnering over the past few months, The Newsroom failed to deliver rock star caliber ratings. Only 2.1 million viewers showed up last night to watch the series’ pilot with another 600,000 watching replays.
While this number is a bit underwhelming, keep in mind this is what premium network ratings are supposed to be like. This particular network is seemingly use to audiences beyond 4 million with Game of Thrones and True Blood, but the reality of the situation is that HBO is not in everybody’s homes and many people who subscribe prefer to watch via on-demand options which are not counted in these initial figures.
That said, a better comparison for The Newsroom’s ratings would be Luck which only found 1.1 million viewers in its debut. Given that the horse racing drama received a second season renewal fairly early (before the show was cancelled after several horses had died during filming,) this would suggest that HBO is willing to give older-skewing shows preferential treatment and not necessarily hang them out to dry in search of another True Blood. Look for the Aaron Sorkin-created series to be renewed for 2013 relatively soon.