Starz' 'Camelot' crowned ratings champ: How will 'Game of Thrones' fare?

Camelot-green

Image Credit: Starz

The nearly two-hour premiere of Starz’ Camelot drew a big ratings sword from the stone on Friday night (OK, lame, I know, but this is the fourth cable ratings story we’ve posted today). The show delivered 1.1 million viewers — tying the record-setting premiere of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena back in January. In a way, Camelot is more impressive because half of this telecast aired on Starz as a special preview after the Gods finale a few weeks back — so a large chunk of this program was essentially a repeat.

So for those keeping score: Showtime’s The Borgias (1.06 million) opened strong, but Camelot performed slightly better in its initial premiere telecast (especially considering Camelot was a partial repeat airing on a Friday on a network with a very short history of running original series). Also, Reelz The Kennedys (1.9 million) was record-setting for the network, but its tough to judge that performance since there’s not much, if any, original programming history on Reelz to compare it to. AMC’s The Killing (2.7 million) did well and drew more than any of the other titles as one would expect since AMC has the widest distribution.

All this news bodes well for HBO’s Game of Thrones, which by the time it airs will likely have the highest profile of all the new spring cable dramas thanks to the popularity of George R.R. Martin’s novels and HBO’s mammoth marketing machine (unless viewers feel weary of swords and robes and thrones due to Borgias and Camelot by the time it airs, but I don’t think that will happen). And is it just me, or are all of these programs more compelling than the freshman dramas we’ve seen on broadcast TV this season?

PREVIOUS: ‘Camelot’ vs. ‘Game of Thrones’ vs. ‘The Borgias’: Which is the most epic in all the land?


Comments (39 total) Add your comment
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  • Lara

    I really liked this premiere. A lot of good TV out now!

    • xxc

      So true. My DVR is full, which is rare.

  • Redvector

    And very little of it comes from the networks.

  • Eddiehaskell

    Yes and all the networks do is cancel new shows once you start to like them anyway.

  • crispy

    I’d expect these ratings to drop 30% for the next episode. This show was not good.

    • Rob

      It was excellent.

      • Gon

        not

      • jodipo

        wow Gon, just dated yourself a bit didn’t ya?

      • Roger C.

        Give me a break, nothing wrong with saying “not.”

    • Vic Nardozza

      It blew.

    • Amanda Kiwinerd

      You’re an idiot. Have fun watching garbage like Grey’s Anatomy.

  • Captain Average

    “And is it just me, or are all of these programs more compelling than the freshman dramas we’ve seen on broadcast TV this season?”

    Nope, it’s not just you.

    • Amanda Kiwinerd

      Have fun watching American Idol.

  • James

    Game of Thrones will probably get about 4-5m viewers.

    • James Hibberd

      That’s an interesting guess … and quite possibly right … I’m def thinking over 3 million

  • Rob

    I’m glad that Cable TV is bringing it where Network TV is lacking this past year or so. Hopefully we get better quality Network shows in the coming years and maintain the Cable quality.

  • sabrina W

    cable is the way to go, shorter series, better plot and way more respect and appreciation for producers/writers work ,

  • Ken in STL

    Re “The Kennedys:” Since History dumped it and Reelz picked it up, I’d be interested to know what the average and record high viewership is of series on History, and how many households does History reach vs. Reelz 60 million?

    • James Hibberd

      It’s a good question. This would not be a hit on History, which is fully distributed for a cable net, with these numbers. They would want at least, say, 3 million (it’s biggest hit Pawn Stars does over 5 million, though it wouldn’t expect it to hit that high). But on cable it’s all about how a show does for your net, not how those numbers would be for the other guys, so this is still a win for Reelz. You can’t really know what it would have done on History, but it definitely would have draw more than it did on Reelz

  • Gina Vera

    Bring back the Legend of the Seeker on network TV there is obviously a market for the genere. At least have a movie to wrap it up!

  • chris

    The cable shows are well acted, great writing and smart. great storytelling. Network tv is largely junk and reality.

  • jodipo

    I am not surprised. I watched both shows and will be tuned in for the GoT premiere. I don’t personally feel that Camelot or The Borgias are appointment making tv, but if I dont have anything else to do when they are on I will certainly watch. Game of Thrones is already appointment tv and it hasn’t even started yet!

  • Gavin

    Show was good. I’ll be a repeat viewer. I watched the Borgias also and intend on keeping up with that. The major networks don’t give enough time for new shows to find their stride. Looking forward to Game of Thrones, and I haven’t read the books.

  • Brett

    Are George R. R. Martin’s novels popular outside of the fantasy/science fiction reading marketplace?

    • fafhrd

      Yep. I’ve seen copies float around the workplace.

  • Gon

    The Borgias was fun to watch, other than this crap. With James Purefoy gone, Eva Green is the only reason why you would want to watch this mess.
    Bad acting in costumes is still bad acting.

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