'Boardwalk Empire' Returns with 2.4M Watchers

HBO’s last walk with Nucky Thompson in Atlantic City got off to a solid start, drawing 2.4 million watches to its fifth and final season premiere on Sunday night.

The bow of Boardwalk Empire on Sept. 7 outperformed its fourth-season ender’s 2.2 million by 9%, according to Nielsen data, while matching last season’s opener. With encores at 11:30 p.m. and 2 a.m., the Steve Buscemi-starrer garnered 2.9 million viewers for the night, down from 3.2 million the year before when there was only a single replay.

For its part, the first season finale of The Leftovers, which has been renewed for a second campaign, matched its season average of 1.5 million watchers.

Including its second play at 12:30 a.m., the episode was watched by 1.7 million viewers for the night. 

Both programs ran up against the kickoff of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, TV’s biggest audience-tackler for the past three TV and NFL seasons. Denver-Indianapolis averaged 23.9 million viewers on Sept. 7.

The Leftovers' average gross audience via encores and different platforms averaged 7.3 million viewers for its rookie run.