True Blood ratings continue to grow
Viewers are tuning into HBO’s vampire series True Blood in record numbers. The offbeat program attracted 3.9 million viewers on Sunday night which was the biggest audience the show has had in its two seasons on the air. Viewership has now doubled from its premiere episode last year, a solid sign that it’s been building from terrific word of mouth. From creator/ producer Alan Ball (Six Feet Under), this show is perhaps the quirkiest program I can remember since David Lynch’s night time soap, Twin Peaks which aired for two seasons starting in 1990. Twin Peaks was a true water cooler show but it burned itself out pretty quickly, ending after only 30 episodes.
The amazing thing about True Blood is that it really doesn’t have straightforward narrative to propel it along week to week. It mostly relies on its solid cast and wacky offbeat tone. Like Lynch’s Twin Peaks, strange things often happen that are not fully explained. This really helps build intrigue and that alone keeps me tuning in every week. The opening credit sequence is by far and away the strangest and most interesting for any show on television.
True Blood has also become a monster hit on DVD. Sales for season one have grossed more than 43 million dollars in just over two months, mind-blowing for a program with a viewership of less than 4 million. Those sales are great news for its two main leads, Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse) and Stephen Moyer (vampire Bill Compton). I’m sure they will use these very profitable figures as leverage when they eventually renegotiate their contracts for the show. Alan Ball has said that he plans to start shooting the third season before Christmas 2009. All things considered, True Blood appears destined to have a long life on the air.
Whether it’s a cult, a fad or a force here to stay, True Blood is generating a lot of positive buzz and becoming a very profitable entity. It’s the biggest hit HBO has had since the landmark Sopranos ended. Check out the opening sequence below…
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