‘The Righteous Gemstones’ TV Premiere Is HBO’s Most-Watched Comedy Debut in More Than 3 Years

The last was “Vice Principals” in 2016, which also stars Danny McBride

Last Updated: August 20, 2019 @ 8:24 AM

Hallelujah, HBO execs: The series premiere of Danny McBride’s “The Righteous Gemstones” on Sunday was the pay TV channel’s most-watched linear debut of a comedy series in more than three years.

The hour-long “Righteous Gemstones” premiere brought in 844,000 viewers across HBO’s platforms yesterday, including streaming services HBO Go and HBO Now.

The 10 p.m. airing alone averaged 593,000 viewers, making it the HBO comedy to launch with the highest linear-viewership tally since the 2016 premiere of “Vice Principals,” which also starred McBride and put up 1.2 million viewers.

The comedy about a “televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed and charitable work” stars McBride, John Goodman, Edi Patterson, Adam Devine, Cassidy Freeman, Tony Calvero, Tim Baltz and GregAlan Williams star.

“The Righteous Gemstones” is created, written, executive produced and directed by McBride. Jody Hill and David Gordon Green also executive produce and direct.

“Gemstones” 9 p.m. lead-in, the second episode Season 2 of media-empire drama “Succession,” scored more than 1 million viewers across all HBO platforms Sunday night. Readers can find out more about the Nielsen numbers for the record-setting sophomore start of “Succession” here and about where things are headed for the Roy family this season via our interview with star Sarah Snook (who plays Shiv Roy) here.

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