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^^^^ Highlights from that L.A. Times story:
"True Blood," which is in its second season, is already showing signs of being a big moneymaker for HBO. DVD sales for the first season, which only went on sale a few weeks ago, have already generated north of $30 million, according to industry research firm TV by the Numbers. "True Blood" has also become one of the top iTune downloads.
"True Blood" isn't cheap to make. Although a typical drama on broadcast television may cost north of $2 million an episode, HBO's dramas cost as much as $4 million an episode.
When it premiered last year, "True Blood" drew only 1.4 million viewers and looked like it would join "John From Cincinnati" and "Tell Me You Love Me" as another quirky flop for HBO. As the season wore on, however, its popularity grew.
Sunday's second-season premiere drew 3.7 million viewers, the highest number for an HBO show since the finale of "The Sopranos." HBO reran the episode later that night, drawing a total viewership of more than 5 million. Those numbers are even more impressive when one considers that "True Blood" did not have a powerful show leading into its telecast and went up against ABC's coverage of Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the L.A. Lakers and Orlando Magic in some parts of the nation."