Less bang for `Sopranos'

March 15, 2006|By DAVID ZURAWIK | DAVID ZURAWIK,SUN TELEVISON CRITIC

An audience of 9.5 million viewers tuned in Sunday night for the return of The Sopranos - a slight drop from the average level of viewership last season for the acclaimed HBO drama.

The average audience during Season 5 for The Sopranos was 9.8 million viewers per episode, according to HBO spokeswoman Tobe Becker.

While ABC's Desperate Housewives, which aired opposite the crime series Sunday, continued its Sunday-night dominance with an audience of 22.2 million viewers overall, it finished second to The Sopranos in the homes of those who subscribe to HBO.

"We are very happy with the numbers," said Becker, pointing out that in addition to the Sunday-night audience measured by Nielsen Media Research, another 10 million viewers had watched Sunday's episode on demand.

david.zurawik@baltsun.com

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