From the creator of The Wire, Treme is the second of the big new HBO series on Sky Atlantic and made its debut last Friday. But if Boardwalk Empire's figures are seen as weak and the debut of the new season of Entourage drew an embarrassingly small audience, then Treme has gone off the scale: Friday's opening episode of the post-hurricane Katrina New Orleans drama averaged a sad 66,000 viewers, and that number includes timeshifting and HD viewers. By comparison FX in the same timeslot had True Blood (another HBO drama) that pulled an audience 236,000 for a mid-season episode.
Whilst Sky may argue that it is targetting a demographic measured by quality (A,B,C1) rather than quantity I'm not sure advertisers will agree.
HBO's next big debut on Sky Atlantic is Game of Thrones which launches on April 18th, the day after it debuts in the US. The audience numbers for that will be interesting as it's close enough to the US release to minimise the impact of those who download shows, but of course that also means that it won't come with much US acclaim (or hype) to get the general UK public's attention. Expect the Sky marketing to hit overdrive again as it tries to secure an audience to appeal to advertisers.
BTW, Treme is available on DVD/BluRay in the US from March 29th. Expect Boardwalk Empire as a box set in the summer, shortly before season two arrives Stateside.