Despite critical backlash, despite some suggesting that the show needs commercial breaks, and despite the presence of Olivia Munn, the ratings for Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom continue to prick up. In fact, according to EW, Sunday night’s episode reached 2.2 million viewers in first run, the highest ratings yet for HBO despite the mounting drub of hate coming from critical circles.
People really love to hate-watch Newsroom, though I will admit — as an adamant defender of the show — that this last episode suffered from a bad case of montage-itis. (Heavy-handed or not, I did love the opening speech. It’s Aaron Sorkin, people. OF COURSE IT’S HEAVY HANDED. I’ll take preachy and pretentious over Anger Management every day of the week. Critics just don’t like being out pretentious’d.)
As always, however, when we discuss ratings for cable shows, I think it’s necessary to put them into perspective. Two million viewers may not sound like a lot, although that doesn’t take into account re-airs over the course of the week, or views on HBO Go, which add a few million viewers. However, it is solid number for a premium cable network that operates on a subscription model. In fact, it’s better than the ratings for HBO’s two previous new shows, Girls and Veep.
For comparison purposes, here’s a selection of shows on basic and premium cable to help you put the Newsroom ratings into perspective. Basically, it’s in the upper part of the bottom tier.
The Walking Dead — 9 million
Sons of Anarchy — 5.45 million
True Blood — 4.5 million
Mad Men — 3.5 million
Game of Thrones — 3.4 million
Anger Management — 3.37 million
American Horror Story — 3.2 million
Justified — 3.1 million
Wilfred — 2.5 million
South Park — 2.6 million
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — 2.3 million
Newsroom — 2.2 million
Breaking Bad — 1.9 million
Veep — 1.7 million
Archer — 1.5 million
Girls — 1.4 million
Louie — 1.4 million