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Curb your Enthusiasm - Season 8 - Ratings news/recap

Last Sunday at 10pm, the God of comedy returned and blessed us with the first episode of the 8th season of His HBO comedy, Curb your Enthusiasm.

As always, the critics were raving (and rightfully so, this show is awesome, more people should watch it) but Curb your Enthusiasm has never been a ratings hit, unlike, say, its current lead-in True Blood (I wonder what Alexander Skarsgård has that Larry David has not).

Before I talk about the ratings of episode 8.01, let's make a quick recap of the show's ratings over the years.

The first 3 seasons of Curb your Enthusiasm (2000, 2001 and 2002) managed to draw more than 2 million viewers on the first airing each Sunday night.

Premiering in January 2004, the 4th season was boosted by its lead-in, nothing less than the final season of ratings hit Sex & the City (episodes 6.13 to 6.20 of SatC aired alongside episodes 4.01 to 4.07 of CyE). Since then, the show has never achieved such ratings (which is understandable, there are plenty of new technologies to catch up on TV shows that didn't exist 7 years ago).

As most of the HBO landmark series ended around 2006 & 2007 and while some new shows failed/got cancelled, Larry David always had the continued support of HBO and kept on producing new Curb your Enthusiasm seasons every 18 months or so, going through the decade.

Season 5 (airing alongside the 1st season of Rome) and season 6 (having Tell Me You Love Me as a lead-in) weren't exactly hits : for instance, the season 6 finale, which aired on Sunday, November 11th 2007 at 10pm after the season 1 finale of Tell Me You Love Me (a show which was ultimately cancelled), garnered only 1.08 million viewers (+ 0.66 million viewers with the 12am rerun).

Here are the ratings of all 10 episodes of season 7, which aired Sundays at 9pm paired with Bored to Death season 1 :

Episode 7.01 (September 20th, 2009) : 1.12 million viewers (0.5% of the 18-49 demo).
Episode 7.02 (September 27th, 2009) : 1.05 million viewers (0.6% of the 18-49 demo).
Episode 7.03 (October 4th, 2009) : 1.60 million viewers (0.7% of the 18-49 demo).
Episode 7.04 (October 11th, 2009) : 1.19 million viewers (0.5% of the 18-49 demo).
Episode 7.05 (October 18th, 2009) : 1.08 million viewers (0.5% of the 18-49 demo).
Episode 7.06 (October 25th, 2009) : 1.05 million viewers (0.4% of the 18-49 demo).
Episode 7.07 (November 1st, 2009) : 980 000 viewers (0.4% of the 18-49 demo).
Episode 7.08 (November 8th, 2009) : 980 000 viewers (0.3% of the 18-49 demo).
Episode 7.09 (November 15th, 2009) : 1.26 million viewers (0.5% of the 18-49 demo).
Episode 7.10 (November 22th, 2009) : 1.33 million viewers (0.6% of the 18-49 demo).

- Best ratings of the season : episode 7.03 with 1.60 million viewers (Curb your Enthusiasm's best ratings on the first airing since the Season 4 finale on March 14th, 2004).
- Average on the first airing : 1.17 million viewers.
- Average on the 1st airing + DVR + On Demand + 6-7 reruns/week : 5.1 million viewers (+36% compared to season 6).

Now, let's focus on last Sunday's ratings.

How did Curb your Enthusiasm do ? Pretty, pretty, pretty good, I'd say. Airing at 10pm, right after episode 4.03 of True Blood, episode 8.01 garnered 1.71 million viewers (0.9% of the 18-49 demo). That's the best ratings of the show on the first airing since season 4. It is much better than the Season 7 premiere (however, the 7th season aired in the fall and had no competitive lead-in, not as competitive as a new episode of True Blood anyway).

Speaking of True Blood, the 3rd episode of the 4th season had 5.04 million people tuned in (2.8% of the 18-49 demographic), which is obviously better than 9 days ago - only 2.90 million viewers (1.5% of the 18-49 demo) watched episode 4.02 Sunday at 9pm, but that can be easily explained : HBO on Demand had released the 2nd episode a week ago and it was the fourth of July weekend.

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