'Game of Thrones' Ratings Hit New Series High

Game of Thrones Red Wedding

When series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss first teamed up with renowned author George R.R. Martin to bring his A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels to TV as Game of Thrones, they probably didn't foresee that the series would become the worldwide phenomenon that it is today. While there was little doubt that the show would be successful - to say that the books are popular would be a vast understatement - very few can honestly say that they predicted the coming wave of fandom that has since launched a thousand variations of the "Winter is Coming" meme.

The Game of Thrones legion grows larger every Sunday, with this past weekend proving no different. The latest GoT episode, entitled Oathkeeper, has set a new all-time series high in total viewership, being seen live by just under 7 million people.

This blows away the 6.6 million that tuned into last week's installment "Breaker of Chains," which caused much controversy due to the altering of a scene from how it played out in the book. While exact 18-49 demographic data is not yet available for last night's episode, the current pattern suggests that it will likely end up scoring around a 3.8 in that measure.

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The aforementioned controversy may have ended up being a blessing in disguise, as a large portion of the bump upwards is presumably attributable to the even larger than normal amount of Thrones related social media chatter that has taken place ever since that fateful scene involving the Lannister siblings. Not to mention the fervor surrounding the events of the "purple wedding" two weeks ago.

Much like The Walking Dead, it appears that the ongoing tide of Thrones devotees isn't likely to start ebbing anytime soon. The ratings growth the series has made over the course of only four seasons is astonishing. For the record, season 1 averaged a 1.1 demo rating and 2.5 million total viewers. Season 2's average shot up to a 1.9 demo and 3.8 million viewers.

Last season increased to an average demo of 2.6 and an average total audience of nearly 5 million. It's pretty safe to say that season 4's average demo will end up coming close to a 4.0, if not surpassing that number. Most dramas on broadcast TV couldn't draw that kind of number on their best day. Now, more than ever, cable is the place to be.


Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO. It has already been renewed for seasons 5 and 6.

Source: The Wrap

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