Way back in January of 2014, HBO managed to tap into America’s fondness for misanthropic cops, frequent and unnecessary nudity, and weird murder mysteries with the first season of Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective. The series starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as mismatched police partners named Rustin “Rust” Cohle and whatever Woody Harrelson’s character was named, and it quickly became a huge hit for the premium cable network. True Detective spawned a popular Twitter meme and a mostly forgettable second season, but the series’ great ratings will always be fondly remembered in the hearts of HBO executives.
Now, though, a newcomer has arrived to challenge True Detective’s crown. According to Variety, Sunday’s Westworld premiere was the highest-rated debut episode on HBO since True Detective, matching its total of 3.3 million viewers across cable and digital platforms. This rating is significantly higher than HBO’s last high-profile drama premiere, Vinyl, which only drew 1.4 million. Vinyl was canceled earlier this summer, so at least Westworld will probably last longer than that. Of course, we all probably thought we’d be watching new episodes of True Detective for years and years too, and that didn’t work out so well.