true-detective-hboHBO‘s True Detective finale bagged a series high of 3.5 million viewers Sunday at 9 PM — a 50% spike from the crime anthology’s premiere of 2.3 million. With an average gross audience of 11 million viewers season to date, True Detective becomes HBO’s most-watched freshman series since Six Feet Under’s 11.4 million viewers in 2001. Across the night’s three telecasts, the series also hit a high — 4.9 million viewers. Last night, demand for tonight’s season finale of  True Detective was so great online, the network’s streaming service HBO GO temporarily crashed, which may have helped drive viewers to the TV viewing.  The disruption played into True Detective‘s pop culture phenom image over its eight episodes. Two weeks earlier, an average of 2.6 million viewers watched the drama anthology at 9 PM, besting the premiere’s previous high of 2.3 million on January 12. It drew a then-series-best 3.6 million viewers across its three plays. While the first season of True Detective was conceived as a closed-ended arc with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, creator Nic Pizzolatto is already working on a premise for a second season with new characters and a new storyline in a new locale.

Also Sunday, HBO’s Girls, averaged just over 1 million viewers in its slot Sunday (and for the night tallied 1.5 million).  After that, Looking logged 425,000 viewers.