Aaron Sorkin’s polemic about the state of TV journalism opened to middle-of-the-road ratings on HBO Sunday night.
The Newsroom delivered 2.1 million viewers for its premiere run. Including its first encore performance, Newsroom tallied 2.7 million total for the night. Newsroom also shed a fair amount of its big True Blood lead-in (4.7 million). All factors considered, if the new drama’s Atlantis Cable News were a real cable network, this would be an MSNBC-size number instead of Fox News-size number, but at least it’s not a Current TV-size number.
The Newsroom audience was bigger than HBO’s last drama series debut, the disappointing horse-racing drama and PR headache Luck, which premiered to 1.1 million last January and was later canceled. Yet the performance is softer than the debut of Game of Thrones (which opened to 2.2 million, but lacked a big lead in and with repeats had 4.2 million by the end of its first night) and well below Boardwalk Empire (4.8 million).
Critics were mixed to negative on The Newsroom, though EW.com’s own Ken Tucker argues that, “For all its flaws, The Newsroom is well worth watching.” Given that Luck (1.1 million) and Treme (also 1.1 million) were both rather quickly renewed by HBO for a second season, chances are really good that HBO will give another season to Newsroom too.