Game of Thrones premiere ratings released
By Winter Is Coming on in News.

James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly has the full numbers from the Game of Thrones premiere. Hibberd reports that 2.2 million viewers watched the first airing at 9 PM, 1.2 million watched the second airing and 800,000 the third. The total number of viewers who watched Thrones on Sunday night was 4.2 million!

The first episode delivered a decent 2.2 million viewers for its premiere airing, then a rather strong 1.2 million for its first encore (the NBA playoff game with the Celtics vs. Knicks might have pushed some viewership to the second airing), and another 800,000 for the third telecast for an overall healthy total of 4.2 million. HBO then aired Thrones six times across all its channels Monday night, and those numbers will be added to this post later today.

Thrones first telecast was down 54% from the premiere of 2010′s Boardwalk (4.8 million) which received an immediate second season renewal. Yet HBO always takes into account what Sunday show was used to ramp up viewers to the new program’s premiere, and Thrones had a weak platform — Mildred Pierce, which averaged around 1 million viewers, a number Thrones more than doubled.

Winter Is Coming: I think HBO has to be pleased with this number. Expecting the 5-6 million that tuned into Boardwalk Empire‘s premiere was unrealistic. Over 4 million total viewers is a great start and I really think word-of-mouth will help propel this series to an increase of viewers by the end of the first season, as opposed to Empire‘s downward trend. Now we wait for that season two announcement …

UPDATE: James Hibberd provides an update: an additional 1.2 million people watched Game of Thrones during Monday repeat airings. This brings the direct viewing number to the total of 5.4 million.


52 Comments

  1. Gytha Ogg
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    ANNOUNCE IT HBO

    DO IT NOW

  2. Derek Sharp
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I concur! Renew now!

  3. Brian Koon
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Outstanding, considering how well the NBA playoffs did. HBO only cares about how many people watch the show, not how many people watch it when it first airs. 4.2m is a great #.

  4. Ashley Blackwoody
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    good, now maybe the paranoia will stop.

  5. João Amaral
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I was hoping for more on the firts airing, but i completely forgot about the Celtics/Knicks game.

  6. Alisha_es
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Yay! Hopefully we can move on from the other ratings thread now… And a new post about a second season pickup would be nice too. Come on HBO! You can do it! :-)

  7. Elizabeth Hildick
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    This is great news! Combined with how fabulous it is doing in foreign markets, I think this is definitely a win for HBO. Renew it, already!

  8. fake-o name-o
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Do the ratings for the 2nd and 3rd airing count households that watched earlier broadcasts? or does the 4+million represent that many unique viewers?

  9. Lina
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    4.2M is pretty good! I’m also glad they’ve said they’re considering the lead-ins. I thought Mildred Pierce was good, but it definitely wasn’t as strong of a springboard for GoT that True Blood was for Boardwalk.

    I wonder how many people who watched the 2nd/3rd showings were repeat viewers? I watched it twice: the first time quietly and the second with a running commentary with family/friends.

  10. jimmy
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious if HBO took 6 days to release a second season anouncement, just like George took 6 years to release ADwD.

  11. Elaine
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    These are great numbers!!!!! And I fully expect an upward trend with this show.

    Renew now, HBO!!! I’ll promise to buy DVDs for every drama you’ve ever made!!!

  12. Eleanor
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Happy happy joy joy!

  13. Amir Mishali
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    *sigh of relief*

  14. MetalgoddessAMB
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Ashley Blackwoody:
    good, now maybe the paranoia will stop.

    yeah, that’s was outta control!

    Whew!

  15. kerning
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I’m cautiously optimistic–but I wonder if that’s unique viewers.

    I’d bet a pretty penny that some of those repeat viewers are fans and enthusiasts watching it twice.

  16. DH87
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    This is a relief. This will translate into a 3.4, since I believe HBO counts only the first two viewings in its numbers released to the world, but all in all very reassuring. We can all step back from the ledge. Expect a 2.9 cumulative for Easter/no free HBO for E2, but we’ll be fine. Rumors (blog posts at EW) are the ratings in Europe last night were through the roof.
    Thank god. We get ugly you-know-who back—no Playmate!

  17. Dom
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    That’s good! Season Two announcement, NOW!

  18. Kayero
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    4,2M is great!

  19. Tom Hilton
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I went to Amazon hoping to pre-order the DVD. Can’t do that yet (not surprisingly), but you can sign up to be notified when it’s available. No idea if anyone tracks that, but I figured it’s worth a try. If we can send a really strong signal that DVD/Blu-Ray sales are going to be huge, that might count for something….If Fox had known how many people would buy Firefly on DVD, it would have run a few more seasons.

  20. dizzy_34
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    What can we Americans say? We love our bi-curious vampires and Steve Buscemi …

  21. Tom Hilton
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Season 2! Great news for viewers, terrible news for some of the characters. ;) I hope poor Maisie Williams is prepared for the hell Arya is going to go through…

  22. EvilPicnic
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    There! Now what was all that unproductive (and speculative) angst about yesterday, huh?!

  23. Gytha Ogg
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    OMFG SECOND SEASON ANNOUNCED

    OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

  24. dizzy_34
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Told you all. Chin-Up and ALWAYS SUPPORT THE BOTTOM!

  25. Tom Hilton
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    dizzy_34: What can we Americans say? We love our bi-curious vampires and Steve Buscemi …

    This American loves (loves, loves) his Kelly MacDonald. ;)

  26. Joe Blanche
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Ordered HBO- check. Bought 4 T-shirts- check. Watched show three times-check. I thinkk I bought 22 more seconds of Dinklage screen time for season 2! Oh yeah!

  27. DH87
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Deadline is reporting we’re renewed!

  28. The Young Wolf
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Huh. And people thought we were in trouble with the ratings…bahahahaha!
    4.2 MILLION VIEWERS FTW!!!!!!!!!

  29. Convivial Edd
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    WOOT!

    *Does happy dance!!!*

  30. Lina
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    YES!! I think a lot of us KNEW it would happen, but there’s always an element of uncertainty until you hear it from the horse’s mouth!!

    What are you guys most anticipating in Season 2? A few for me:

    -Dragons!
    -Tyrion as Hand
    -Harrenhal: Jaqen, weasel soup, the escape, valar morghulis!
    -Melisandre and shadows (interested in who they will cast!)
    -Jon Snow and Qhorin’s last scene
    -Battle of the Blackwater (didn’t really enjoy this passage all that much in the book, but I expect it will be awesome on screen)

    And last, but certainly not least: HOUSE OF THE UNDYING!

  31. Rory P.
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    fake-o name-o,

    I was wondering the same thing is it 4.2 unique viewers or 2.2m unique viewers with 800k of which watched it 3 times and 400k watched it twice?

  32. JoshinAZ
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering how the HD format was counted. I got HD just for Game of Thrones.

  33. saluk
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    The 2.2 alone is not bad. When the prelim numbers said it was under 2, that’s what had me worried. Above 2 is not GREAT, but is decent. Apparently no one watched tv on Sunday. Makes me wonder what next week is going to be like, with easter. We still have more repeat views during the week too.

    Yeah, a lot of those repeats were probably superfans, but not all of them. And they still count :) If we all watch the show twice every week, we can help boost the numbers lol.

    Good news on pickup! Expected, but yesterday was shaky!

  34. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    saluk,

    The preliminary assessment said 1.6 share, not millions of viewers. Anyway :) who cares now :)

  35. Ser_G
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m taking bets now (not actually, but I would kind of consider it) that there will be no Qarth in Season 2.

    Didn’t D&D mention that they would have to cut two characters to keep the second season from breaking the bank? Stands to reason that those two characters would be Pyat Pree and Xaro Xhoan Daxos. The only truly crucial development to come from Dany’s time spent in Qarth was the visions from the House of the Undying, and those could easily be substituted in on some kind of much-lower-budget alternative.

    I know that’s the sort of thing we don’t want to hear, but frankly, if cutting Qarth means we can get some kind of decent Blackwater, I’d trade it in a heartbeat.

  36. Coltaine777
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Some posters have already asked ….Is this rating number UNIQUE viewers or does include repeat viewers ?…..it doesn’t matter really…just curious …

  37. Pythonpete
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Only unique viewers a re counted. Also we still need to wait 3 days for DVR viewers to be counted as this is very important data for advertisers (I know they don’t have advertisers, although I saw Septa Mordane with a Swiffer!! ;-P ) and networks alike.

  38. fuelpagan
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Now everybody select an Ad above and click on it so WIC can afford to upgrade. Or maybe a donation button. I’d donate some money for this great site. Because I think it is fantastic…until it drags like it has the last couple of days.

    Seriously Winter, how can we help improve the site? Because I don’t see traffic load going down until after the season is over.

  39. coltaine777
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Pythonpete: Only unique viewers a re counted. Also we still need to wait 3 days for DVR viewers to be counted as this is very important data for advertisers (I know they don’t have advertisers, although I saw Septa Mordane with a Swiffer!! ;-P ) and networks alike.

    Thankyou…a legit 4.2m then…Thank God…:)

  40. GaR
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    That’s a bit better. 4.2 million is like the population of my entire country :D

  41. Pythonpete
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    coltaine777: Thankyou…a legit 4.2m then…Thank God…:)

    Still to go up due to the DVR viewers.

    The number of female fans that are talking to me about the show is amazing. I wonder if Ms. Belafante is aware these women exist.

  42. CKent12
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    UK Ratings were over 700,000 on Sky Atlantic which is HUGE for them.

  43. Jason Hollen
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Everyone should take into consideration that ratings are not the end all of whether a show will get renewed. DVR, downloads, international market and DVD/Blu sales are just as important these days. The Wire went 5 seasons and it’s ratings were abysmal.

  44. Mr. Wu
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Jason Hollen,

    True, but The Wire also probably had roughly the same budget per season as GoT does per two episodes.

  45. Sleeky
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I don’t suppose there are numbers broken down by region. HBO us, HBO Canada, HBO Latin America, etc…

    I’m really curious about viewership in different parts of the world.

  46. Andrija Andrew P
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I am gonna light an especially big and fat candle for HBO this Easter, they made my day with season 2!! Thank you HBO! If we could only get to season 3 I would die happy…

  47. Yngvildr
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Did they also count the number of people who acquired it illegally… Because I think (concerting with my friends, over there in France, Finland and Britain) that you can double (or even triple) that 4.2millions number of watchers… I watched it yesterday (My boyfriend wanted to wait for the French subs >.<)

  48. Jeff T
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Yngvildr,

    I can understand this in certain overseas areas because your getting it late.
    As long as they buy the DVDs to support the show then that works.

  49. Brian Koon
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Game of Thrones averaged 743,000 viewers and peak viewing of 823,000 in its Monday night premiere in the United Kingdom. That tops Sky Atlantic’s previous high (438,000) for Boardwalk Empire. So, while Boardwalk Empire is the far bigger “hit” in the U.S., GoT takes the crown in the U.K. Not much of a surprise perhaps since it seems every actor in Game of Thrones is from the U.K.

  50. Jason
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Was there any doubt given how popular the books were? There was a salivating fanbase there already just waiting for the show. Episode 1 wasn’t all that exciting, so I fully expect ratings to rise up as the intrigue…and the carnage…begins.

  51. Martin
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Is there any info about dvr ratings?


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