TV Ratings: ‘True Detective: Night Country’ Ends With Season High

The finale of True Detective: Night Country drew the season’s largest first-night audience, ending well above where the season began. On broadcast Sunday, Tracker fit seamlessly into CBS’ lineup in the first episode after its post-Super Bowl premiere.

Sunday’s closing episode of Night Country brought in 3.2 million cross-platform viewers (for the first airing on HBO, two replays later in the night and streaming on Max), the biggest night one tune-in of the six-episode season. The previous week’s installment had 5 million viewers over three days after being released on Max two days early on Super Bowl weekend.

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Night Country also ends as the most watched of True Detective’s four seasons so far: It’s averaged 12.7 million viewers per episode since the Jan. 14 season premiere, beating out the 11.9 million average for season one back in 2014. HBO measures viewing for 90 days from a season premiere. (It’s also worth noting that earlier seasons of True Detective weren’t as readily available to stream, as they all predated Max’s launch.)

Sunday’s 3.2 million viewers capped a season in which the audience built over the course of six episodes; the finale drew about 57 percent more viewers than the 2 million for the season premiere. It was also up 55 percent over the season three finale in February 2019.

Night Country’s 12.7 million viewer average for the season is ahead of season two of The White Lotus (10.1 million viewers just before its finale) and the final season of Succession (8.7 million). The high mark for any HBO series since Game of Thrones ended belongs to The Last of Us, whose first season in 2023 drew better than 30 million viewers per episode across all platforms in its first 90 days.

Elsewhere Sunday, Tracker drew 6.64 million viewers for CBS, according to fast national Nielsen ratings, building on its Equalizer lead-in (6.32 million). The season premiere of American Idol on ABC (4.45 million viewers) declined by about 16 percent from last year’s debut, while the People’s Choice Awards on NBC came in at 2.91 million (not including a simulcast on E!), vs. 3.54 million on the network for the last ceremony in December 2022. Complete broadcast ratings for Sunday will be available later in the week.