Thursday, April 18, 2024

Reality Bites: HBO’s “True Detective” Premiered Last Week Down 60% from Last Version Despite Good Reviews


Last Sunday’s premiere of “True Detective: Night Country” was a ratings disappointment.

Linear numbers for the show, starring Jodie Foster, were down 83% from the previous iteration of the series in 2019. The total was 565,000. HBO said “Night Country” scored 2 million views when you include HBO Max and delayed viewing.

But the hardcore number on HBO, Sunday at 9pm, was down 77% in the total demo number as well.

This series has excellent reviews on Rotten Tomatoes — 93%. Foster plays a small town sheriff in Alaska hunting the disappearance of eight scientists. It’s interesting, but it’s not sexy, which may be why viewers aren’t pouring in.

The numbers are similar, however, to the just concluded and much ballyhooed season of another omnibus series, “Fargo,” which starred Jon Hamm, Juno Temple, and Joe Keery from “Stranger Things.” That was on FX and is running on Hulu and also got solid reviews. But maybe the audience for small town sheriffs uncovering mysteries has exhausted itself for the moment.

“True Detective: North Country” returns tomorrow, Sunday, at 9pm.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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