“The Newsroom” (Melissa Moseley /HBO)

The talky, Capraesque drama, which stars Jeff Daniels as anchor of a fictitious cable news show, is averaging a gross audience of nearly 7 million viewers per episode, HBO says.

For comparison sake, the 2008 first-season finale of HBO’s vampire drama “True Blood” clocked 2.4 million viewers for its initial telecast and 3.2 million for the night, and, in 2011, “Game of Thrones’s” first-season mop-up logged 3 million viewers for its initial telecast and nearly 4 million viewers for the night. Both shows are still part of HBO’s lineup, while “Treme,” which in 2010 finished its first season with a first-season finale episode that logged just 931,000 viewers in its initial telecast and 1.4 million viewers for the night, is not.

HBO had already decided back in July to order a second season of “Newsroom,” before TV critics, who seem nearly unanimous in their dislike of the show, descended upon Summer TV Press Tour 2012 to tell Sorkin “how he should flesh out his characters,” as one put it.

Returning the favor, show star Jeff Daniels told the couple hundred critics in the room, “I gotta be honest with you, I completely get why you do what you do — God bless you — but you don’t do it for me, and you never have. It took me a long time as an actor to stop reading you,” adding, “there’s nothing you can tell me, I’m sorry to say, that will help me.”