'Lucky' in name only, not in ratings
'Louie' draws only an average of 1.5 million viewers, making it one of the worst premieres for an HBO comedy.
By Scott Collins, Times Staff Writer
HBO hoped to reinvent the traditional network sitcom with "Lucky Louie," comic Louis C.K.'s show about a bickering, sexually frustrated young married couple that some have already described as "Everybody Loves Raymond" with curse words.
But viewers evidently found "Louie's" Sunday premiere a little too TV and not enough HBO, handing the network one of its worst comedy-series premieres. An average of 1.5 million viewers turned out for "Louie," according to figures from Nielsen Media Research. That's far below the June 1998 rollout of "Sex and the City" (3.7 million), the October 2000 debut of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (3.1 million) and even the July 2004 premiere of the showbiz satire "Entourage" (1.9 million), the results of which were considered disappointing at the time.
The rest of HBO's Sunday lineup fared little better. The western "Deadwood" returned for its third season with just 2.4 million viewers. And at 11 p.m., the debut of "Dane Cook's Tourgasm" a video chronicle of the life of the brash stand-up comic and three pals that was generally savaged by critics gathered just 1.1 million viewers.
Perhaps the only bright spot came from Sunday's Season 3 debut of "Entourage," which attracted 2.7 million viewers, up 69% from the second-season premiere last June. Still, that performance is far lower than the glory days of "Sex and the City."