HBO's popular vampire series True Blood came back for its sixth season this weekend, and whilst the ever-faithful fandom were around to check out the first airing of the season there was a noticeable chunk of the viewership missing from the opening night. The episode clocked in with 4.5 million viewers when it aired on Sunday (June 16) at 9pm, over half a million fewer than the number who tuned in for the start of season 5.

The 4.5 million total was down 15% from last year’s 5.2 million and was down 11% from the number that season 5's finale managed to draw in. A drop it may be, but in the grand scheme of things that number isn't as bad as it seems as even the ever-popular Game of Thrones only managed to draw in 4.37 million when season three first went to air earlier this year. That number rose to 5.39 million viewers when the season came to an end last week, and if season six proves to be as successful as the previous five have then there shouldn't be too much to worry about for HBO.

There's even more reason for True Blood's shaky start too and thats thanks to NBC and their coverage of the NBA Finals, which as you can imagine took in the bulk of the audience numbers for the night. Next week also spells the return of the Jeff Daniels-starring The Newsroom, which will air at 10pm after True Blood and could provide week two with a much improved view rating.

The season opener saw Bill's promise of becoming a full-time villain put on ice, for now, and some more crazy supernatural that are all too much for someone who doesn't watch the show.

Stephen Moyer Anna Paquin True Blood
True Blood is back for a new season

Stephen Moyer Anna Paquin
Not everyone is as excited for the new series as they have been for the last