Again! 'Game of Thrones' ratings hit season high


Once again, HBO’s Game of Thrones ratings hit a season high Sunday night, climbing to 2.6 million viewers for its premiere airing.

Combined with its encore, Thrones was up to 3.3 million viewers for the night, with the show averaging 8.1 million viewers per episode across all platforms. After a somewhat middling premiere performance followed by a steady second episode, this is now the third week in a row Thrones ratings have gone up. And given the show’s storyline is picking up the pace for a dramatic second half of the season, these numbers could continue rising and turn Thrones into a bona fide hit. Intensely serialized shows like Thrones rarely climb like this, and when they do they tend to become titles that have healthy lifespans.

As Thrones ascends, Showtime’s Nurse Jackie (431,000) and United States of Tara (230,000) continue to slip — both shows hit series lows on Sunday night, with Jackie down about 40 percent and Tara off 58 percent from their averages last year.

In case you missed it, here’s this week’s Thrones recap: Episode V: The Lannisters Strike Back.

Comments (84 total) Add your comment
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  • Michelle


    • sarah


  • ossie

    I concur. YIPPEE!!!!!!!

    • A.F. for EW

      I see your YIPPEE, and raise you a YAHOOOO!!!

  • Warren G Wonka

    I hope HBO has learned something after seeing the long aftersale tails of Rome and Deadwood about keeping a great series alive.

    • Ke

      Those shows were great, but cost to much. Especially Rome. I think Game of Thrones is costly 50 million less to produce then Rome. Cost may not seem like a big deal on network tv because of Advertising dollars, but HBO has not advertising money coming in. It relies on subscriptions.

      • Quirky

        Yeah, according to wikipedia, HBO spent $85 million on the first season of Rome (with the BBC chipping in an additional $15 million), while the first season of GoT is estimated to be no more than $60 million.

      • sarah

        holy cow. that DOES put it into perspective!

      • Bella

        I hink what Warren was saying although they cost a lot to make they have actually made back that in the massive DVD sales for both deadwood and Rome.

      • mondo182

        I thought ‘Deadwood”s cancellation was less budgetary reasons and more the creator’s fault for wanting to jump ship and make ‘John from Cincinnati’ instead? At the very least HBO offered him a chance to properly conclude that terrific, terrific show.

      • HughJass

        I don’t know Butchie instead !

    • Teaboo

      Some people may disagree, but would it hurt if premium subscription channels started running advertisements? Not during the show of course, but between shows. Sometimes you get 15 minutes of HBO advertising HBO between shows. There’s alot of “cast and director” nonsense sitting around talking about their now movie, which really amounts to an ad anyways. Where’s the harm in a Coke or Chevy ad right before Game of Thrones airs. If it could have meant another season of Rome, it would be worth it. That show was great.

  • crispy

    Sunday’s episode was so good, I expect word of mouth to really drive up the ratings for next week.

  • Necro

    Boring as heck.

    • Kevin

      I’m going to guess you only watched the pilot. The last episode had 3 sword fights, a beheaded horse, and the most visually disturbing image in the history of TV… this show is certainly NOT “boring.”

      • Nic.

        “and the most visually disturbing image in the history of TV…” — Yeah, when I read the book I thought they are NEVER going to show that. Shows how much I know! Game of Thrones is definitely not boring and not for anyone who has a weak stomach.

      • ks

        I am wondering how they will do Vesarys (sp) big scene?

    • The Man

      I’m going to guess Necro is an idiot troll and never watched Thrones and loves Big Bang Theory.

      • Tim

        I think the more likely scenario is that you aren’t yet mature enough to accept an opinion that differs from your own. You chose to attack and insult on a personal level rather than support your original comment. Sorry, but you failed!

      • Robin

        Tim, that’s exactly what you just did.

      • Frank

        #sensingirony & #ignoringtrolls fail Tim

    • Robert

      Damn straight!Another boring episode.

  • Debbie M

    I hope Arya never catches one of those cats. I don’t want to see another animal killed like that poor direwolf.

    • Kelson

      Yeah. Kill the people. Save the animals. /sarcasm off

    • Kevin

      Did you not see the horse decapitation?

      • Solamente Dave

        That’s what I was thinking. All there was when Lady was put down was a quick whimper. When The Mountain gave his horse the big chop, nothing was left to the imagination.

    • jodipo

      you ar ean idiot. Arya had no interest in killing the cat you sicko

    • Peter Vee

      Catch. She was told to catch cats, as an exercise in speed and agility. Syrio never said anything about killing them.

    • Liz Lemon

      I’m thinking she will just let it go. The point is to just catch it. But I agree…stop killing the animals. That horse decapitation was seriously brutal.

      • Craig S

        wait till you see The Red Wedding in Season/Book 3.

      • Bob Smith

        @Craig S – Wow, you read the books, your cool. I did too, but I don’t like to spoil it for others. I know there are no details, but it’s not hard to figure out what it could mean. When the time comes in the series in the series, I can imagine a million noobs going – “Just wait till next week, Red Wedding, Red Wedding, its so bAAadddd.”

      • JD

        That really doesn’t give away very much…there are a few weddings in book three I think. But I agree…there are a lot of deaths on this show/series and if you’re upset about random animals dying I worry for you haha

    • Arthur Dayne

      joffrey kills cats with a crossbow… but arya will kill anyone that has 2 legs

  • Matt W.

    I love this show, but the media hyped this episode a bit much for me. Most were saying 5 and 6 were amazing and the best, etc etc. I didn’t see that in episode 5 so hopefully 6 is a game changer.

    • Kevin

      To be honest the end of episode 4 is the game changer, that is what ignites everything that will happen for the rest of the series (or book), 5 is important however with Stark’s discovery and the scheming going on

    • Liz Lemon

      I think episode 6 is definitely the game changer, especially if it’s like the book.

    • JD

      I thought this episode was AMAZING, definitely deserves praise. Don’t expect every episode to completely blow your mind. Yet episode six should be epic and really all the episodes from here on out should have a lot of sh** going on. Seriously gonna get good!

      • Simon Jester

        I agree. The two central dialogue scenes — the first between Littlefinger & Varys, and the second between Cersei & Robert — were absolutely riveting television.

  • Jenn


  • mark

    HBO cancelled “The Comeback” so nothing they do would surprise me, but this is a great show.

  • Ana

    If the show is even a tiny bit like the book is, I’m staying tuned. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

  • Deborah

    I ordered HBO just to see this show.. may it last through the entire story!

    • Joe

      I did too, but $16.99/month is not worth one show on HBO. I’ll wait for the DVDs.

      • Mycatsleepstoomuch

        True Blood and Boardwalk Empire are awesome too!

      • Matt W.

        And the Ricky Gervais Show!!!

      • Vince from NYC

        Bill Maher is fun also.. Movies also, new ones sometimes..

  • Slamberries

    James, should we worry that the totals keep going down on a weekly basis? I think HBO cares more about them than the initial buzzworthy rising ratings for the premiere airings…

    • James Hibberd

      Nothing to worry about. The start of the season had a disproportionate amount of repeats, so that boosted the early average, and as a season continues some viewers fall behind and take longer to catch up, it’s a normal HBO pattern and the premiere night viewership still tends to be the best indicator of interest

    • Simon Jester

      Plus, it’s already been picked up for a second season.

  • Raylan

    Necro, its people like you that have laid devastation to the television landscape. We get it, you like Jersey Shore and Dancing With The Stars…how anyone could call this show “boring as heck” is literally mind-blowing to me. I had never even heard the books, and like most people with a brain, I sit enthralled every week. The pacing of the show is brilliant, the acting is riveting, and the Martin’s story is insanely well crafted.
    Please do everyone a favor and refrain from commenting again. We all appreciate it.

    • Rafi D’Angelo

      Game of Thrones is amazing. I was hooked before I even finished the first episode.
      I love Dancing with the Stars! It’s the most feel-good show on television. Don’t shoot down good, clean entertainment.

  • kate middleton

    Great news! It is seriously getting SO good.

  • Chuck

    hope this gives HBO an incentive to go for 12 episodes next season!

    • jodipo

      oooh! This please!

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