Although the season 4 premiere of Girls on HBO this past Sunday definitely generated a good amount of Internet buzz thanks to an...ahem, interesting scene between Marnie and Desi, it doesn't look like it helped the ratings of the episode: According to Deadline, the Girls season 4 opener ratings were down compared to previous years — very disappointing news as last year's season 3 opener was the show's best rated yet. So, what happened?
The good news is, these low season 4 premiere numbers are definitely no cause for alarm. Although there was a definite drop in viewing numbers — season 4 pulled in an audience of about 680,000 viewers, much lower than season 1 and season 2's average of 870,000 viewers, and season 3's high of 1.1 million viewers — there's a pretty logical reason for this. Girls' season 4 premiere aired against the Golden Globe awards, which were taking place the same night and airing on NBC. Of course the ratings were bound to drop just a little — there were 19.3 million potential viewers otherwise occupied by another broadcast.
That, coupled with the fact that Girls has already been renewed for a fifth season, should definitely be enough to convince you: This show is not in trouble at all.
In fact, technically, season 4's premiere ratings aren't that bad when you compare them to the rest of season 3's viewership. Yes, the season 3 premiere had a series high of 1.1 million viewers, but it was also airing immediately after the highly rated series premiere of True Detective, so it might not be the best indicator of where the show generally is ratings-wise. Looking at the rest of season 3's ratings is more telling: For instance, the season 3 finale was pretty much on par with season 4's opener, snagging 670,000 viewers during its first telecast last year. Season 2's finale? Same deal.
So, there you have it: There's definitely no reason to worry about Girls. Now, let's all watch Marnie's super-awful viral music video cover of Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians' "What I Am" in celebration (and also because no one should ever need a reason to rewatch this clip over and over again):