The ratings so far
By Hear Me Roar on in Speculation.

Half way through the first season it might be a good time for a quick overview of how the ratings are doing. Our pre-premiere speculations post can be found here. Below, the ratings of the first six Game of Thrones episodes are shown relative to the first season numbers of three other successful HBO shows.

Note that the ratings curves over seasons longer or shorter than ten episodes have been adjusted to fit the graph accommodating the 10-episode Game of Thrones run. As we have noted several times before, these first airing numbers are neither the only nor the most decisive measure of success, but are still indicative of how the show is trending in general.

Hear Me Roar: Nothing much to add. You will notice that the numbers are consistently higher than the corresponding first season True Blood numbers, catching up with the Boardwalk Empire ones (while The Sopranos aired at a time when HBO had more subscribers than it does today). I would say that if the remainder of the season continues the positive trend and brings about an additional viewership uptick with its exciting goings-on (to use an understatement), the ratings as a whole will be considered an unqualified success. The first part of the answer is coming later today.

UPDATE: According to James Hibberd, the Game of Thrones ratings will be out tomorrow. They are delayed a day this week due to the holiday.


116 Comments

  1. kerning
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    That’s a little disappointing. :|

    There seems to be so much buzz for the show even when compared to BE, but the numbers aren’t matching up. I’d love to see the international numbers outside of the UK, but this info doesn’t seem readily available. Really hope the DVD/BluRay release is outta this world.

    PS: Oh, and uh, first. Been so before, but let’s mention it this time. Seems to be a thing. ;)

  2. Jan Maeckelberghe
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    I expect the ratings to drop for Episode 7, what with Memorial day, HBO Go release last week and all.

  3. RobbIsAnIdiot
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    Wasn’t the dip in ratings for episode 6 because of the playoffs airing at the same time?

  4. Martin E
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    I think there was a hit from the first few episodes being slow, and the rating drop has lagged behind. From Ep5 onwards, the action starts building – and I would hope that the figures start to reflect that.

    @Hear Me Roar: Interesting point about the number of subscribers being lower now than during the airing of the Sopranos. I guess the important aspect to the graph are therefore the trends – both TB and The Sopranos climbed significantly from mid-season providing an indicator of just how successful they would become. I would like to think that GoT would start to pick up viewers from now in the build up to the finale.

  5. EvilPicnic
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    It’s amusing how Boardwalk Empire started out with all the hype (Scorsese, Buscemi, oh my!), and right away dropped down to what is basically on-a-level with GoT. I wanted to like BE, I really did, but it’s the only big HBO drama that I haven’t clicked with.

    I still have apathy toward these numbers (what do they mean), but to be honest GoT is doing fine. Is it bombing? No. Is it a tearaway success? No, but did we really expect it to be? There is no high fantasy zeitgeist equivalent to the vampire wave that True Blood is riding, we therefore cannot hope to expect similar numbers in later seasons without being sorely disappointed. And GoT does not have the mass-accessibility of The Sopranos.

    But I think it is reasonable to expect our Brotherhood Without Viewing-Statistics to trample over a failing BE next season as far as big-budget HBO shows are concerned, and be increasingly likely for further season renewals as a result (which is always the main goal).

  6. Hear Me Roar
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    I agree, trends are the important thing. Also, there are tons of other shows not doing nearly as well – in fact, BE, TB and GoT that we’re comparing (and Sopranos, HBO’s biggest hit of all times) are the top three most successful HBO shows running atm, and GoT is not lagging behind in any sense of the word. It started stronger than TB, and can hopefully keep up in further seasons. Overtaking BE by the end of season 1? A big bonus :) A thing to keep an eye on: the between-season jump for each of the shows (but that’s something for much later).

  7. Eric DeBruin
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Yea, I don’t see how ratings wouldn’t drop due to the HBO Go promotion.

  8. DavosFTW!
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    after reading the pre-release ratings post, I’ve got to wonder why the episode 1 numbers weren’t higher? It said HBO would be free that weekend and shows usually start highish then taper then rise, our show seems to be just rising.

    hmm? I’m thinking GoT is geared towards the overseas market more than the American. Americans traditionally prefer science fiction to fantasy. HBO are expecting this to do big things overseas.

  9. Hear Me Roar
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    DavosFTW!,

    No drop at the beginning was definitely a surprise. Apparently, the free weekend passes are not counted in ratings, so GoT started strongly as it was (in that case, on the other hand, the BE numbers were really big at the beginning – I assumed much of it came from a simliar free pass given by HBO, but apparently not). The important thing is that the numbers are not dropping off (with the potential exception of today due to Memorial Day and HBO Go), but rising, if anything, which is great for a heavily serialized show.

  10. Knurk
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    DavosFTW!,
    in the ratings for the first episode the free viewers weren’t counted (this was confirmed). Nielsen never counts the free weekend viewers (usually, it maybe did so with BE).

  11. Eleanor
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    HmR, I love your charts and graphs!

  12. Martin E
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Overnight UK figures now in:

    527,000 which equates to 2% of available audience.

  13. Martin E
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    To add a bit of context to those figures (which equate to quite a big drop):

    First column are confirmed weekly totals (bracketed = confirmed first showing figures)
    [figures in these brackets are overnight figures for first airing and % of totall viewing]

    Eps 1 – we 24Apr …….. 1,852,000 (1,454,000) ……. [743,000 3.2%]

    Eps 2 – we 01May ……. 1,641,000 (1,158,000) ……. [531,000 2.1%]

    Eps 3 – we 08May ……. 1,584,000 (1,156,000) ……. [506,000 1.9%]

    Eps 4 – we 15May ……. 1,352,000 (1,116,000) ……. [628,000 2.6%]

    Eps 5 – we 22May …………………………………….. [522,000 2.2%]

    Eps 6 – we 29May …………………………………….. [626,000 2.6%]

    Epd 7 – we 5 June …………………………………….. [527,000 2.0%]

    It was a bank holiday here in UK yesterday – which may have been part reason for hit. Also Britains Got Talent (apparently) – first live semi-final went out (although that finished before GoT went out at 9pm).

    Still awaiting confirmed totals for week ending May 22nd.

  14. Tyrion's Scar
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Yeah I really don’t see how the ratings thus far could be seen as anything other than a massive success when you take into account all the things the show has going against it that some/all of the other shows did not.

    1. It is fantasy
    2. DVRs
    3. Piracy
    4. No really big name actors
    5. The level of commitment required
    6. HBOgo
    7. Comparatively lower overall HBO subscriptions

    When compared to a show like True Blood which I love but lets face it is about as popcorn as it gets. Easy to follow tailor made for contemporary audiences, tons of beautiful people, etc. Or when you compare it to the situation The Sopranos was in where nobody had DVRs, nobody was pirating episodes, no HBOgo, etc. etc.

    I do not mean to crap on your graph because it is really interesting seeing where the show stacks up to even HBO’s massive hits. But I think it would be more ‘fair’ to the show and also very interesting to see a graph comparing it to some HBO shows that are a bit more comparable to it such as Carnivale, Rome, John From Cincinatti, and Deadwood. Shows that had more niche audiences and whose content wasn’t as spoonfed.

  15. garik16
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Yep, the ratings are going to plummet in this episode. My guess is a 1.6.

    Memorial Day + HBO GO will make this week’s ratings to be a complete outlier

  16. john
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    garik16:
    Yep, the ratings are going to plummet in this episode.My guess is a 1.6.

    Memorial Day + HBO GO will make this week’s ratings to be a complete outlier

    It’ll do way better than a 1.6 but I too think it will drop because of the Memorial Day weekend (and HBO GO). 2.1 maybe.

  17. Martin E
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Combined figures for UK – Episode 5 now also in:

    1,429,000 for WE 22 May (episode 5) of that only 1,091,000 watched first broadcast (or +’d it).

    I’ll update the table later.

    What is shows is the first week on week increase since GoT started. It is still the 2nd lowest, but it reverses the trend in declining total views.

  18. Martin E
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    OK – I can’t add properly – Episode 5 combined total should be 1,429,000 – corrected above

  19. Hear Me Roar
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Martin E,

    Thank you for the continuous update on the UK numbers. At the end of the seasons, when we discuss the overall ratings, I’d like to make use of your table. Much appreciated!

    Tyrion’s Scar,
    I agree … the chart in the previous post tried to plot other shows in as well, and I wouldn’t mind adding more shows, it’s just that the numbers for them aren’t as readily available. For Rome, we have first and last episode numbers, which are massive, even above The Sopranos – yes, fair to say they both aired at a different time. The three shows most directly in comparison above, as mentioned, are the top three shows airing now. Even comparing it to this toughest of competition, GoT is doing really well.

  20. RitariKnight
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Tyrion’s Scar:
    Or when you compare it to the situation The Sopranos was in where nobody had DVRs, nobody was pirating episodes, no HBOgo, etc. etc.

    Oh really? You are kidding, right?
    —————-

    Overall, the only people who’s viewing habits matter are the Nielsen households in the US, and the equivalent households in any other country who have a ratings system comparable to it. If there’s a special weekend, sports event, or any other such thing, the ratings will only be affected if these households are “involved”. The same applies for HBO Go or any other such service. The rating numbers are insignificant to HBO, the trend how they evolve may have some significance, but at the moment not much, since Season 2 is already green-lit and Season 1 DVD/BR’s aren’t out yet (how well they sell is way more important in deciding GoT’s fate than ratings will ever be).

  21. Molda
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    How does work counting of selled DVDs and Blu-Rays? I mean, internationaly, so when some e-shops from all over the world orders DVDs from HBO, do they instantly count as selled? Or do they have to be then selled to final customers in order to be counted? But that would be hard to track somehow.

  22. Tyrion's Scar
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    RitariKnight: Oh really? You are kidding, right?
    —————-

    Overall, the only people who’s viewing habits matter are the Nielsen households in the US, and the equivalent households in any other country who have a ratings system comparable to it. If there’s a special weekend, sports event, or any other such thing, the ratings will only be affected if these households are “involved”. The same applies for HBO Go or any other such service. The rating numbers are insignificant to HBO, the trend how they evolve may have some significance, but at the moment not much, since Season 2 is already green-lit and Season 1 DVD/BR’s aren’t out yet (how well they sell is way more important in deciding GoT’s fate than ratings will ever be).

    I cannot say it did not exist whatsoever but in 1999 when The Sopranos started only about half of Americans had access to the internet. And I am sure quite a bit of that was at work. Broadband internet according to a site I saw did not even become widely available in America until 2 years later. Not to mention the lack of technology to rip tv programs to the internet in the first place.

  23. Jose
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The question is what percentage of the viewers represent new subscriptions.

    BE attracts the type of people who already have HBO.

    GoT is more likely to attract new subscribers.

  24. fuelpagan
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,

    I think the reason for the big drop in BE numbers was because the first episode of BE was the last weekend of the month right after TB. So you had a bunch of TB fans checking it out, then going ahead and cancelling their subscriptions. But I’m sure many stayed around for the rest of the season. This is where the show leading into the new show is important.

  25. Hear Me Roar
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    Right, agreed. That could in reverse help the June numbers of GoT a little bit (though I’d first and foremost give credit to the show itself, and it’s the last few episodes in a season with a complicated plot, not the first ones) since TB is starting right after.

  26. James I
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    @Hear Me Roar: Interesting point about the number of subscribers being lower now than during the airing of the Sopranos. I guess the important aspect to the graph are therefore the trends – both TB and The Sopranos climbed significantly from mid-season providing an indicator of just how successful they would become. I would like to think that GoT would start to pick up viewers from now in the build up to the finale.

    Martin E,

    I’m surprised to hear that HBO has significantly less subscribers than when Sopranos started. Given the cultural monopoly that HBO shows have commanded over the last 10-12 years (only challenged recently by ShoTime) I would have thought that it’s subscriber numbers would have increased. Sky TV in the UK has been marketing it’s new channel Atlantic as ‘The Home of HBO’ – even though it shows Mad Men.

    Having said all that, I live in Belfast, so I don’t really have a frame of reference about what things are like in the US.

  27. RitariKnight
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Tyrion’s Scar,

    You said that nobody was pirating episodes. That’s not true, I was living in Sweden back then, and there were places to get US TV show rips in Sweden back then. Sure it wasn’t as wide spread as it is now, nor could you usually get them under an hour of the episode airing like now, but it did happen back then, also in the US I’m sure. And while Sopranos started back in 1999, it lasted for a long time (nine years), and TV show piracy grew quickly, especially after torrent technology came out in 2001. So by the fourth season of Sopranos, every episode was available on torrents after it aired. But this is a somewhat pointless discussion as the whole TV world was different back then. The only thing that’s remained the same is the fact that pay TV (HBO is pay TV) still is more concerned with subscription numbers than ratings.

  28. Marko
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I only ever watch GOT (or any other HBO show really) on HBOGo. Am I doing our show a disservice by not watching it live? Surely HBO knows I am watching the show? After all, I bought HBO because of GOT.

  29. Jonathan Leard
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    I often wonder if Game of Thrones will benefit from the release of The Hobbit films. You’ll have both for sure in 2012, and hopefully again in 2013. Fantasy’s sputtering run following LOTR wasn’t big or long enough. It needs to come back again and beat those beautiful vampires down.

    Unless it’s a Fevre Dream movie. I could get behind that.

  30. Jamie
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I will say that I do plan to drop HBO after this GOT season is over and I will most likely wait to pick it back up until GOT Season 2 is airing. So count me as one of the people who subscribed specifically to HBO for GOT.

  31. RitariKnight
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Marko:
    I only ever watch GOT (or any other HBO show really) on HBOGo. Am I doing our show a disservice by not watching it live? Surely HBO knows I am watching the show? After all, I bought HBO because of GOT.

    Are you participating in the Nielsen ratings system? If not, then you won’t affect ratings one way or the other. But since you are paying for HBO and using HBO Go to watch shows, you are actually contributing to the continuation of GoT, since HBO can get real viewing figures from HBO Go. And of course, they are showing their programming through TV and the web in order to make money, and the only way for them to do so is having paying customers (1. consumers through the local operators and 2. international TV companies, who buy their programming to show on their own channels).

    So no, you are not doing GoT a disservice by watching it on HBO Go; on the contrary, you are exactly the kind of customer HBO wants.

  32. Kieriyn
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Also, another indicator of growing success? I went into a book store last night and was just standing in the fantasy section browsing…. an employee came over to help me. They started shooting off the standard booky spiel, asking what I was interested in, even though I said I didn’t need help XD

    Finally they reach towards the shelf and pull out Game of Thrones with the Sean Bean cover and say “You might enjoy this, we’ve had a lot of people lately coming in to buy it. It’s quite popular.”

    I must say… I was giggling inside :)

  33. Patrick
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Every one I know has given up on Game of Thrones – this was a mistake for sure – sorry. No soul – no appeal ….nothing really ………..

  34. Enteril
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    It’s not nearly stressed enough that (and all props to you) the graph posted here, as with many trend graphs, is almost entirely useless because it lacks any information on standard error/margins of error. This is doubly important because of how close most of these are to each other. Take it with a grain of salt.

  35. Frank P
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Patrick:
    Every one I know has given up on Game of Thrones – this was a mistake for sure – sorry. No soul – no appeal ….nothing really ………..

    For people I know its quite the opposite. So either you are just trolling, or else your friends are very unlike other people. And I`m talking about both men and women from 18 and upwards.

  36. Frank P
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    And as we all know torrentsites exists, and on a certain Swedish buccaneersite, Game of Thrones is only topped by House on Top100, and in Highres downloads its in the seven topspots. I think the sales of DVDs and BluRays are gonna skyrocket tbh.

  37. koinosuke
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Patrick,

    Poor troll attempt. I know about 25 people watching the show from quite varied walks of life, and rather than any of them dropping it they’re all raving about it.

  38. Jim
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Patrick,
    LOL comments like this make me laugh.

    The ratings went down a little after the 5th episode even though it was the most exciting episode yet at the time and I think maybe the shock value of a lot of scenes may be off putting for a lot of viewers. Some come straight from the book like horse beheadings and breasting feeding an older boy(which was not necessary at all and wasnt done in the books the way it was in the TV show all out in the open in front of everyone. They put that in there purposely to shock people). Also the cheap tacky scenes they have added like the gay blowjob with the slurping sound effects and the even worse 5 min gratuitous lesbian porn scene which has been by far the most criticized scene. Its not just being criticized on fan websites like this either, Ive been reading twitter reactions to the episode and comments on the Game of Thrones facebook page and other forums and the overwhelming majority of people hated that scene and its both woman and men, book readers and nonreaders who hate it. It seems like at least 1 out of every 3 comments about that episode on twitter is someone complaining about it. I dont know if it was bad enough to cost the show viewers but I wouldnt be surprised if it did.

  39. Whipporowill
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Game of Thrones is the current most popular (think it’s based on how many page views it gets) show on tv.com – so it’s hardly losing momentum as I see it.

  40. Cristian Modesto
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Things to take into account:

    - Game of Thrones, well actually Books 1-4 of ASOIAF, is first in Amazon’s best-seller list and has been there in the Top 10 for the last 60 days.

    - HBOGo crashed during Episode 7 due to online demand.

    - Ratings are higher than the first season of True Blood, even though fantasy has not been very popular since the LOTR and True Blood, in 2009, was riding the vampire-Twilight success of 2008.

    -HBO has been adding merchandise to its online shop since day 1, which can only show that they are selling well (I read somewhere that the merchandise for GoT was second to True Blood only).

    -All online movie sites are following each new episode as if it the show was the new Lost, posting recaps. In EW, for example, the only show that has more comments are the super-popular shows like Dancing with the Stars and American Idol.

    Small things, I know, some more significant than others, but it shows that we should relax, we’re doing well :)

  41. Jamie
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Patrick:
    Every one I know has given up on Game of Thrones – this was a mistake for sure – sorry. No soul – no appeal ….nothing really ………..

    Well I guess we balance each other out because every single person I know absolutely loves it. Readers and non-readers alike. It’s amazing how my row at work is talking about GOT on Mondays these days. And out of the 5 people talking about it, I am the only reader. It makes me really happy. They’re always coming to me with questions and such haha.

  42. coltaine777
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Patrick:
    Every one I know has given up on Game of Thrones – this was a mistake for sure – sorry. No soul – no appeal ….nothing really ………..

    Everyone you know ? lol…take a hike troll….the vast majority of people I know watching the show are absolutely loving it…

    ………..

  43. Lina
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Slow and steady wins the race, yeah?

    Look, I don’t know if anything will touch The Sopranos. Mob stories sell insanely well in the US, and The Sopranos was well-done. It was a winning combination, a golden ticket for HBO.

    What we’re seeing for Game of Thrones is, I think, good compared to what the ratings show for Boardwalk and True Blood. Boardwalk started REALLY high, but was pretty rocky and ended up with ratings that ended in a relatively low position. True Blood had a more gradual but consistent rise with a mid-season dip. Game of Thrones is in the middle: it started higher than TB, but lower than BE, yet it’s been for the most part slowly gaining momentum. Hopefully positive reviews and word of mouth continues to spread to amp up the ratings increase to match True Blood.

    And not to segregate genres, but I think for a fantasy show, these numbers are pretty damn good. It shows that people are at least willing to accept a genre they may not usually be exposed to.

    Spoilerific theory: I wouldn’t be surprised if the show gets a boost after Ned dies. For non-readers, it’s just so unexpected, and I think it will show people this isn’t a run-of-the-mill fantasy. People who don’t even watch will probably hear about it online, and it may inspire some to give the show a try. :)

  44. Steel_Wind
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Martin E:
    To add a bit of context to those figures (which equate to quite a big drop):

    Up 100k, down 100k; up 100k, down 100k. Sorry Martin, I’m not buying the accuracy of these numbers. Don’t get me wrong, I believe you are reporting the “ratings” accurately, but I am not accepting their fundamental accuracy. When the numbers don’t appear to jibe with common sense, something is wrong.

  45. Martin E
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Steel_Wind,

    The overnight’s are even less accurate than the other figures for sure (and that’s before +/- tolerances). The combined totals however are more accurate (and are re-assessed), and have shown a steady decline over episodes 1-4, that has hopefully been reversed now as the plot goes up through the gears – and I would hope go on to build towards the finale.

    I agree the overnight’s are up and down like a yo-yo, sure it’s down over the previous week, that is dictated by other factors I suspect like what other shows are being aired at the same time, people will defer on a show on first broadcast that they know will air again later in the week – or Sky+ it.

  46. Tysnow
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I was back at school today and a couple of students who were avid viewers got turned off by the overlong sexposition scene and changed channels, they both didn’t return for several minutes. So if the purpose of that scene was to get some background on Littlefinger, they missed it. This to me is an indicator that this scene was the first really off one of the series so far, hopefully it won’t effect the ratings too much next week. Well you live and learn with trial and error, so if they have created another one like this, it might be a good time for them to re-edit it.
    I still say TB is the best example of well done sex scenes, they are short but brutal, innovative and sometimes wild, like when Bill twists Lorena’s head 180 degrees, or they are bathed in blood with dying people around. Those scenes don’t linger for 4 minutes, but are over in 30-40 seconds. So hopefully D&D, HBO and the editors learned their lesson.
    A good example is the Baelor Sept scene with Jaime and Cersei during her blood, with them screwing right on the corpse, a cut of her bllod seeping down her thihs, over the corpse and onto the florr would be cool visual (similar to TB’s style of sex).

  47. Prankster
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    You guys do realize that a flurry of posts responding to a troll is exactly what they want, right?

  48. DH87
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    As I’ve said before, the sudden uptick in ratings in S1 for TB can only be attributed to the appearance of Alexander Skarsgard, who isn’t even a lead in the show. The DVDs weren’t available, neither were there other viewing options. Without Skarsgard, I believe the ratings for TB would have remained a workmanlike under 2 million performance for the whole season, and beyond.
    Alas, no such rocket express appears in GOT’s future.

  49. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Tysnow:

    I still say TB is the best example of well done sex scenes, they are short but brutal, innovative and sometimes wild, like when Bill twists Lorena’s head 180 degrees, or they are bathed in blood with dying people around. Those scenes don’t linger for 4 minutes, but are over in 30-40 seconds. So hopefully D&D, HBO and the editors learned their lesson.(similar to TB’s style of sex).

    You are kidding right?? TB is a joke…a funny joke mb, but for the love of god the less GoT has to do with TB the better :S

  50. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    DH87:
    As I’ve said before, the sudden uptick in ratings in S1 for TB can only be attributed to the appearance of Alexander Skarsgard, who isn’t even a lead in the show. The DVDs weren’t available, neither were there other viewing options. Without Skarsgard, I believe the ratings for TB would have remained a workmanlike under 2 million performance for the whole season, and beyond.
    Alas, no such rocket express appears in GOT’s future.

    I tend to agree…everybody loves vikings!

  51. Ghost
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I blame low ratings on lame ass old people who don’t have any imagination.

  52. seanathin
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I look at it this way.
    We got a second season.
    The DVD’s/Blu Rays are going to sell quite well. (I know a bunch of people who will buy them that didn’t get HBO.)
    Good word or mouth will drive people to the disks the disks will drive people to season 2
    If Season 2 does even marginally better then season 1 which I’m sure it will, we get season 3. Hopefully it is just rinse and repeat after that.

  53. Blueberry2
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Subscription numbers, DVD sales and awards are much more important to this show’s future than ratings. Even so it’s ratings are still doing well, beating True Bloods first ssn and approaching BE’s numbers.
    BE is underrated, it moves slowly but pays off by the finale, setting up what should be an exciting season 2.

  54. Tysnow
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    A joke? HBO’s highest rated series currently out must be doing some things right, want to let me in on what’s it is doing wrong.

  55. Balerion
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    The series is doing well. No worries for season two and i think there will be more seasons to come. Remember that GOT has been sold to numerous countries and the dvd’s will be very succesful.
    As soon as ADWD will be released and WILL be a best seller and WILL gain a lot of positive press, there could be a hype.

    All relax and no worries !!

  56. Josh
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    If the ratings stay the way they are, I don’t see how we won’t get a season 3. It’s got great buzz, great critical acclaim and good ratings. That’s all HBO wants and needs.

  57. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Tysnow: Pau Soriano, A joke? HBO’s highest rated series currently out must be doing some things right, want to let me in on what’s it is doing wrong.

    Maybe they should introduce some kind of singing or dancing competition to GoT, I hear that stuff’s pretty popular.

    Patrick: Every one I know has given up on Game of Thrones – this was a mistake for sure – sorry. No soul – no appeal ….nothing really ………..

    Oh shit, all three of them?

  58. M C
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Are there any sites that compile ratings for…erm…unofficial methods of viewing? I realize popularity in that sphere probably does nothing for getting the show renewed, but it would still be interesting to see how well it’s being received on that front.

  59. zzzz
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Tysnow,

    Yes, since citing popularity is the best indicator of quality. /notatall

  60. Cristian Modesto
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    According to Hibberd, ratings won’t be out until tomorrow due to the Holiday.

  61. Ben Watson
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Article about how ratings are doing well followed by dozens of posts lamenting bad ratings. O.o waaaaaaaaaat?

  62. Avalanche3319
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Ghost: I blame low ratings on lame ass old people who don’t have any imagination.

    And I blame low ratings on cheap ass people who would rather download episodes illegally than shell out the money for HBO.

    Not that I actually think the ratings for GOT have been particularly low so far, just sayin…

  63. Mike Chair
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    DH87: As I’ve said before, the sudden uptick in ratings in S1 for TB can only be attributed to the appearance of Alexander Skarsgard

    Skarsgard is great but NCW is no slouch.

    If he ever met Jamie Lannister, Eric Northman would experience the True Death.

  64. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Avalanche3319: And I blame low ratings on cheap ass people who would rather download episodes illegally than shell out the money for HBO.Not that I actually think the ratings for GOT have been particularly low so far, just sayin…

    I doubt anybody who’s downloading the show is a Nielsen viewer, my guess is they tend to be more old school.

  65. jwsnasa
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    These are the UK numbers?? What are the US numbers??

  66. Knurk
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Anyone thinks this means George wrote an extra lengthy episode? (Edit: on the HBO-site it says it runs at 59 minutes, nice!)

    jwsnasa,

    read the update, they’re due tomorrow.

  67. DH87
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair: If he ever met Jamie Lannister, Eric Northman would experience the True Death.

    Really?
    Let’s see….through the first eleven books in which Mr. Northman appears, he retains all of his appendages.
    Jaime Lannister through four books…..not so much.

  68. Mike Chair
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Looks like the longest episode yet. Yay!

  69. Johan Sporre
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Looks like we’ll get a couple of minutes extra of Gotness.

    On IMDb GoT already has almost as many votes as True Blood and after a quick drop down to a 9.4-average 1-2 weeks ago it’s now back up to 9.5. Sure, IMDb is IMDb, but it’s still a sign of the internet-buzz (not necessarily ratings) the show is building.

  70. Mike Chair
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    So you’re saying it will be a fair fight. :-)

  71. grandmaFunk
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    DH87: Really?
    Let’s see….through the first eleven books in which Mr. Northman appears, he retains all of his appendages.
    Jaime Lannister through four books…..not so much.

    that’s due to the respective authors’ cruelty and bloody-mindedness, not to the characters’ fighting skills

  72. BlueCanary
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson,

    I was a Nielsen viewer at one point some years ago – I was a 23 year old single female graduate student who had been pirating TV for 7+ years by then.

    They really do try to get a cross-section of viewers. I don’t know how well they succeed generally, but not everyone with a Nielsen box is a 50 year old family man who only uses computers for email or work, if that.

  73. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Are these for first run viewings only? And if so how do they break first run viewings up? I live in Arizona so I have a choice to either watch the east coast airing at six my time or wait until the HD airing occurs at nine in my time zone. If I watch at six instead of nine am I hurting the ratings for my time zone?
    I would also like to point out several factors that make this chart uneven in terms of comparision. HMR does a great job compling all this stuff. I’ve been hoping for a chart of this nature for a while now. The chart is important because it does do a decent job showing the difference in raw viewing numbers, but there are some less than obvious things we should remember to consider when looking at the raw data.

    First off we’ve mentioned above that HBO had alot more subscribers when the Sopranos was running. Hopefully great programming like GoT, BE and TB can all help the network rebuild to its previous subscription numbers and even go past them. But for now, its not a straight comparison between Sopranos and the other shows.
    More importantly, while GoT is very close in numbers to BE, its important to remember that BE ran in the fall and GoT in the summer. Summer shows are much harder to get ratings than shows airing when the cold sets in and there isn’t as much to do. I loved BE and thought it was nearly as good as GoT (if not better in some areas) so I’m not bringing this up as an unabashed GoT fanboy. I just think its important to remember that there is a bit of an unlevel playing field when comparing the different shows.
    HMR if you get a chance to compare total viewings and not just first run I’d like to see a chart for that as well. First airings mean next to nothing to HBO considering there are no commercials,. Its more important to see how many folks are watching the show over the course of the week. Also, none of the other shows had HBOGo to factor in to the first run numbers. Including HBOGo numbers into the week chart would help to make them more realistic.

  74. Knurk
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head,

    I think you mean a chart like this. If the trend continues it looks like GoT’s numbers will be between 8 and 9 million total.

  75. FireandBlood
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    In the past week…actually really in a matter of days, the numbers of Game of Thrones facebook fans has risen by almost 200,000 people and the number is steadily growing. It was at 314,000 or something when I “fanned” it and it’s now at 480,297. And many of the comments have been “I didn’t think I was going to like this show, I don’t really enjoy fantasy, but I love it and I’ve gone out to buy the books.”

    That’s a pretty small thing perhaps, but for every person who watches and thinks to fan up on facebook, I’m sure there’s several people who don’t use facebook, but are equally enthusiastic about the show.

  76. Clob
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate comparison charts. There are factors that come into play with these four however as mentioned; several year spread to include differences in economy, timeslot competition for each, time of year, different genres, etc.

    What I’ve been more focused on this spring has been the numbers comparison between GoT, The Borgias and Camelot. GoT has been nearly tripling both of the others US numbers during this stretch (and same night for The Borgias) as they’ve been pushing just over 800k.

  77. Iker Gernika
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    What I think is hurting the ratings:
    -They need an American actor, a big name to appeal to the American viewers.
    -No direwolfs, they have to fix this for the 2nd season. No Ghost, no Summer, no Grey Wind…
    -2 episodes short, at least. 10 episodes per season is not enough.
    -Sexposition: Littlefinger´s sexposition scene in episode 7 is going to hurt the ratings, big time, IMHO.

    BTW, I love the series!

  78. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Awesome chart Knurk! I guess a midway comparison between season one of TB and BE would be most useful at this point.

    I also wanted to throw in my two cents that ratins numbers for this week (ep 7) will likely be down significantly. Memorial Day Weekens in the US, plus the HBOGo promotion (unless they somehow include them int he total) will likely decrease overall first run numbers.

    I am more interested to see the week eight numbers though after the cliff-hangar ending of week seven. I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that “The Pointy End” gives the series its highersnumbers to date.

    P.S. If anyone needs nudging to watch episode eigt, it was written by GRRM himself and includes a rumored resolution to the “Is he?” or “Isn’t he?” Syrio question.

  79. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Iker Gernika,

    American viewer here and I for one couldn’t care less whether or not they get a big name American actor for season 2. The more important question imo was deciding whether to go with more of a british accent or an american one from the beginning. I believe they made the right choice going the british way. I will admit that some american viewers might have a tougher time understanding all of the words. My wife has had to pause and rewind a couple of times during the dialogue, but it hasn’t stapped her from tuning in.

    Also while I’ll agreethat sexposition may turn a number of viewers off, I will counter by saying that it will also turn a number f viewers on so to speak and get them to a) continuewatching and b) talk about it to their friends.

  80. Clob
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I’d think book readers would definately be excited for ep. 8 “The Pointy End”
    I’m assuming we’ll get a good dose of Maisie, which will be awesome after her uninvolvement in ep. 7

  81. DH87
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    grandmaFunk: that’s due to the respective authors’ cruelty and bloody-mindedness, not to the characters’ fighting skills

    Oh.
    I thought this was going to be a kissing competition. :)

  82. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Addressing how the direwolves affect ratings, I’ll just say that while more direwolves might improve the show, I don’t think new viewers are consciously missing them as much as fanboys(and girls) simply because they aren’t familiar with the story.
    The lack of direwolves in the first season does give a different angle to the “CGI or not in season 2″ debate. If the trained Inuits are as diffucult to work with as we’ve been led to believe, then perhaps using them with forced perspective tricks and light GCI enhancements won’t be enough. Also, to throw a bone to the Wolf Gaters, I doubt if you’ll ever hear a CGI ghost bark! ;P

  83. DH87
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head: More importantly, while GoT is very close in numbers to BE, its important to remember that BE ran in the fall and GoT in the summer. Summer shows are much harder to get ratings than shows airing when the cold sets in and there isn’t as much to do.

    This is true, but BE had the misfortune to run opposite the Sunday night football juggernaut, which drew its highest numbers in history almost every week BE was on. GOT (technically a spring show, not a summer show like TB, since it began its run well before Memorial Day) has an advantage there.

  84. Knurk
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head,

    yeah the first season of True Blood had a total average of 6.8 million. So we’re in between I think.

  85. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    In response to the earlier post about the slightly longer time for ep8 I say Yay! I can only hope (however fleetingly) that some of the “Calling of thre Banners” scene made it in after all!

  86. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Good point DH, but let me couterpoint you by stating that while the football numbers do factor in more on the East Coast. Out west the game is nearly over by the time the BE timeslot rolls around. If its a blowout, I’d think it would be less of a factor. Of course I have no data to support that, I’m just surmising.

  87. DH87
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Clob: GoT has been nearly tripling both of the others US numbers during this stretch (and same night for The Borgias) as they’ve been pushing just over 800k.

    Have you been correcting for comparable number of published subscribers? Both Starz and Showtime lag far behind HBO in that regard.

  88. Clob
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    DH87: Have you been correcting for comparable number of published subscribers? Both Starz and Showtime lag far behind HBO in that regard.

    Of course not, but I have watched a few episodes of Camelot and didn’t think it deserving of 800k viewers. :P

  89. Ryan E
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    The success of the series helps the books, and the success of the books helps the series, and these two together are really popular right now. I was buying a book on Kindle last night. The 4 ASOIAF books were in the top 5 slots in the Fantasy category, so basically they are the hottest fantasy book around right now, and probably one of the hottest books period (considering they’ve been out for years and years).

    How does this relate to ratings? The point is, the series is getting more and more readers all the time, and many of them will become future viewers. The train rolls on, building up more and more momentum!

  90. DH87
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Iker Gernika: -Sexposition: Littlefinger´s sexposition scene in episode 7 is going to hurt the ratings, big time, IMHO.

    Well, it certainly is all anyone is talking about on the entertainment blogs, that and the carcass-cutting scene. For shock value perhaps it was worth it, but if not, I hope there’s time to re-editing any comparable “addition” to the original material in the last few episodes.

  91. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Iker Gernika: -2 episodes short, at least. 10 episodes per season is not enough.

    I don’t understand how being two episodes short hurts ratings. Wouldn’t it have the opposite effect? Unless you’re suggesting that the episodes are rushing through content too quickly and people are giving up trying to follow it?

  92. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Jamie: I will say that I do plan to drop HBO after this GOT season is over and I will most likely wait to pick it back up until GOT Season 2 is airing. So count me as one of the people who subscribed specifically to HBO for GOT.

    Good for you. HBO pays attention to seasonal subscription trends. I’m also glad that they are wading into the online content delivery market and trying to find a way to make it work as well.

  93. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Is there any way to come up with a chart showing how indivual shows have affected the subscription rate for HBO instead of ratings?

  94. cat of the canals
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head: P.S. If anyone needs nudging to watch episode eigt, it was written by GRRM himself and includes a rumored resolution to the “Is he?” or “Isn’t he?” Syrio question.

    I’ve seen this Syrio thing a couple of times and was wondering where/how the rumor started? I’m super curious!

  95. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Iker Gernika: ,

    Iker Gernika: What I think is hurting the ratings:
    a) They need an American actor, a big name to appeal to the American viewers.
    b) No direwolfs, they have to fix this for the 2nd season. No Ghost, no Summer, no Grey Wind…
    c) 2 episodes short, at least. 10 episodes per season is not enough.
    d) Sexposition: Littlefinger´s sexposition scene in episode 7 is going to hurt the ratings, big time, IMHO. BTW, I love the series!

    U missed the last one:

    e) None of the above.

    Can’t really decide wich one of the 4 is the dumbest though…american actor? really?? the dogs? how can it hurt the ratings when the viewers don’t now anything more about them? 10 episodes? how can a sorter season hurt the ratings?? it would be the opposite.. and finally, how can a scene that is on episode 7 hurt the ratings of the first 6??

    en fkin…it would seem that some ppl just want the show to go bad

    PS: Actually…

    f) the ratings are fine

  96. Mike Chair
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head: P.S. If anyone needs nudging to watch episode eigt, it was written by GRRM himself and includes a rumored resolution to the “Is he?” or “Isn’t he?” Syrio question.

    I haven’t heard of that rumor … as to episode 8, that is.

    Which question, exactly, if you know?: Is he or isn’t he alive? Or is he or isn’t he Jaqen H’ghar?

  97. DH87
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head: Is there any way to come up with a chart showing how indivual shows have affected the subscription rate for HBO instead of ratings?

    That I believe would be considered proprietary information. HBO cannot block ratings becoming public because a separate entity monitors them but there is no up side in giving us the numbers it is using to decide whether to renew or cancel. Remember, all shows are not created equal—a cheap show might be tolerated longer than an expensive show delivering the very same rating/subscription data (which is why Bored to Death, Entourage, Hung, and similar “deathless classics” with cheap, contemporary settings and over the hill “stars,” remain on the schedule). Also entering the mix is what is in the pipeline and what the focus group and demographic data predict those shows will deliver in comparison to their costs—the old cost/benefit analysis.
    Add in the other, auxiliary revenue and….well, you have HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo’s daily to-do list.

  98. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    cat of the canals,

    Miltos has hinted at a little surprise during that scene. We’ve speculated that it might be a resolution to it.

  99. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    One upside might be the “everyone is doing it” argument. If HBO can show concrete data as to how many people have picked them up as a direct result of a certain show it might start a snowball effect.

  100. Maxwell James
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    What’s striking to me about the ratings thus far is how steady they are. TB and BE both saw significant up/down swings (esp. down) in their ratings over the first several episodes. By contrast, GoT has been steady at the mid-2′s every Sunday.

    I think that’s a very good sign – it points to a core audience that is going to be there for the show no matter what, while a whole bunch more people (the 6 millon or so who watch it at later times/dates) are following it and remaining interested. For all the sighing here every week about basketball games, holidays, competitive programs, and nice weather, GoT actually seems much less prone to viewer swings than any of the other shows.

    Save the Sopranos, of course.

    That said, there will of course be a swing this week due to the holiday, but I’m guessing that will be followed by a strong report on HBOGO usage shortly thereafter.

  101. Pablo Jainaga
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    On a side note, I read somewhere that GOT tops book sales in Spain and Brazil. I think it’s a nice indication of the show’s succes.

  102. Hear Me Roar
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head,

    Well, as to the length – ep 8 will be a minute longer than last week :) Still, these are the two longest instalments excluding the season opener.

  103. TastesLikeTheSea
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,
    Nice I hope LittleFinger gets another sexy scene and they make it 1 minute longer.

  104. Dufraine314
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    In “La casa del libro” or “The Home/house of Books” we find this
    http://www.casadellibro.com/libros-mas-vendidos/15

    And in fnac, another main bookshop:
    http://libros.fnac.es/l710/Top-de-Ventas-Libros?bl=HGLIpdd

    Niceeeeeeeee

  105. JedK
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    EvilPicnic,

    I still have apathy toward these numbers (what do they mean), but to be honest GoT is doing fine.

    There’s an article today on the SlashFilm website talking about budgets of big shows. Walking Dead is getting it’s budget cut, and HBO wants to cut the budget of Boardwalk Empire (A show with a higher rating than GoT ). HBO cancelled Deadwood because it was too expensive.

    As the Game of Thrones seasons continue the show will get more expensive because of special effects and the large cast. The worst thing that could happen is to have HBO cut the budget of the series. The ratings have to stay high or the show is doomed.

  106. Stephen Berry
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    JedK:
    HBO cancelled Deadwood because it was too expensive.

    Why are people still saying this, when it’s been gone over again and again why it was cut? It had nothing to do with budget.

    JedK:
    As the Game of Thrones seasons continue the show will get more expensive because of special effects and the large cast.The worst thing that could happen is to have HBO cut the budget of the series.The ratings have to stay high or the show is doomed.

    Now here is where I disagree. I’m more interested in a well acted show with good dialogue and really interesting characters than I am in a big budget show with amazing CGI and vast armies of people running around. Would it be nice to have those things? Sure. But it’s totally non-essential to me.

    It’s like people suggesting there should be more hunks like Eric in TB, so that we can get better ratings. F*ck better ratings, if it means we need to be more like TB, in my opinion. We’ve got the books, first and foremost, and I don’t see any reason to pander to a crappier version of the show just so it’ll get better ratings and last longer.

  107. Alan
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,

    Love the chart! Thank you!

    I completely understand why you normalized the longer season series to 10 shows, but I think it probably does GoT a bit of injustice. While this tells us where each show were as the % of the season went on, the reality is that word of mouth and the growth of popularity takes real, nominal time.

    The extra weeks that some of these shows got is very real to build momentum. And while that’s a very real advantage for them, it’s also not entirely accurate to expect Got’s 5th week to be equal to someone else’s 7th (or whatever). But that’s a minor nitpick.

    ——————-

    I’d love to see where Rome was on this chart. It had a similar budget, and it was cancelled, but tat has been admitted at least once as a possible mistake. I think of it as a good barometer for a borderline cancellation (I think the partners pulling out was another impetus for cancellation).

  108. Alan
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Couple of thoughts:

    - I think the Hunk on True Blood argument is just as likely to be convenient timing. That increase looks just like the Sopranos — and every other word of mouth build. Logically, it’s really not that kind of show for one person to carry.

    - HBO has never shown a tendency to change a show for ratings, at least not that I’ve been able to tell.

  109. JedK
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Stephen Berry,

    Now here is where I disagree. I’m more interested in a well acted show with good dialogue and really interesting characters than I am in a big budget show with amazing CGI and vast armies of people running around.

    Of course this is what makes GoT great but if you read the books you know that CGI will play a huge roll later in the series: Dragons, creatures beyond the wall, Direwolves, plus all the backgrounds, and sets. Boardwalk empire has a huge amount of CGI. There is a pretty cool YouTube video showing how they construct the beach and the boardwalk all done with CGI.

    Also you know there will be a larger cast.

    Why are people still saying this, when it’s been gone over again and again why it was cut? It had nothing to do with budget.

    I didn’t watch the show, I’m just repeating what was written in the article.

  110. Drfunk
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Stephen Berry,

    I agree about strongly acted scenes however the show is missing the “epic” element at times. I don’t even want to start the whole direwolf thing but if you’ve read the books. You should realize there are going to be scenes that will rival battles ala Return of the King. Given the choice of battles that are alluded in a room (like Rome did) or a cheap rendition of the epic battle, I’d rather have the epic battle with cheap CG if need be. They are as much part of the story itself, the whole “it doesn’t look real” is going to be grossly overrated when fantastical element gets introduced later on. Time to CG up massively going s2 forward.

    Also disagree with Deadwood. Sure they had a really dumb business of model of actually building a whole town with retarded amount of real people instead of CG. At the end of the day, the overhead on that show was just far too ridiculous. The dollar killed Deadwood, not the writing, not actors wanting to get paid more… the cost was just too much with too many people. I COULD see GoT falling along the same pitfall had they NOT had a show like Deadwood. HBO and D&D are smart enough to realize what lies along that road (which is prob why we’re still restricted to 10 episodes).

    PS: WiC or HmR, do you guys have any confirmation on the number of episodes season 2 will have? Thought I read somewhere that it would once again be 10. Is this set in stone or you guys hear otherwise, now that shooting will begin soon I would imagine they know exactly how many episodes season 2 will be.

  111. Cookie
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Drfunk:
    Stephen Berry,
    Also disagree with Deadwood.Sure they had a really dumb business of model of actually building a whole town with retarded amount of real people instead of CG.At the end of the day, the overhead on that show was just far too ridiculous.The dollar killed Deadwood, not the writing, not actors wanting to get paid more… the cost was just too much with too many people.

    I´d like to read your source for this.

    Not once (!) i´ve read an Article where a person directly related to HBO or Deadwood is quotet for this beeing the case, but quite often Milchs commitment to John from Cincinatti was brought up as one of the reasons for the cancellation.

  112. Drfunk
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Cookie,

    Deadwood series creator David Milch has said, “I am deeply disappointed by the way things turned out. (HBO) felt like they had to make a choice, and this is how they chose. I know they tried to work it out, and I tried to work it out with them.” It’s been confirmed that HBO offered to greenlight a small six-episode order of the groundbreaking drama but Milch, who has had bad experiences with so-called “short-order renewals,” rejected the offer. “For my part, I did not want to accept a short order. We couldn’t have done the work the way we wanted. I didn’t want to limp home. So in essence, the reason for Deadwood’s ending seems to be a financial one.

    http://tvseriesfinale.com/tv-show/deadwood-an-update-on-the-reasons-why/

    then

    “It’s not TV, It’s TV run by a bunch of coksuckers!”
    –Al Swearengen responding to HBO’s motto after the cancellation.

    HBO revealed this month that, because of a bunch of complex money considerations, “Deadwood,” one of the network’s top original series, will most likely end its run with its third season, which starts June 11th. Although Deadwood was not technically cancelled, HBO is releasing all of the actors to pursue other work, effectively killing the series because of the difficulty of reassembling such a large cast.

    http://www.dailynugget.com/2006/05/deadwood-cancelled/

    I can’t seem to find the article that had the breakdown by the numbers, as this is old news. Considering how Milch and Mcshane responded however it’s not a stretch to say it was mainly financial. There may have been conflicts of interest and scheduling concerns but at the end of the day the show just got too damn expensive for its own good.

  113. Hear Me Roar
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    Rome was big, started at 4 million and ended above 7 in the first season. No intermediate numbers given. I averaged out some numbers to fit them in … only a 2 ep discrepancy at most … but I see your point. Anyway, this is not exact science, only about trends. I like the visuals, though ;)

  114. Stephen Berry
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Drfunk:
    Given the choice of battles that are alluded in a room (like Rome did) or a cheap rendition of the epic battle, I’d rather have the epic battle with cheap CG if need be.They are as much part of the story itself, the whole “it doesn’t look real” is going to be grossly overrated when fantastical element gets introduced later on.Time to CG up massively going s2 forward.

    Well, on this point we’ll have to agree to disagree. I agree that there is a wonderfully epic feel to the books, and a sort of nostalgia for a past that never existed, as well as awesome fight sequences, but the core of the reading experience is about the characters for me. I’d much rather have a sort of “I, Claudis” experience than a “Beowulf” experience, personally. Shakespeare on the stage versus a badly done cgi sort of experience. That’s just my opinion though.

    Now, of course, if we could get a fantastically rich, immersive CGI experience that had that sort of epic, pseudo-fantasy feel to it, as well as the awesome acting and character development…. that would be great. That’s clearly something the show is missing/has chosen to alter. The books clearly have a fantasy setting, while also having a gritty real-world feel to the characters, and that dissonance is an element of its reading charm as part of a genre that normally doesn’t mix those two things.

    The show is clearly more of a histori-drama so far, rather than a fanti-historical like the books, much more in the vein of “I, Claudius” than “LotR”, and thus I wonder whether they’re going to continue in that vein. That would imply less CGI and more charcter driven stuff.

  115. Alan
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar:
    Alan,

    Rome was big, started at 4 million and ended above 7 in the first season. No intermediate numbers given. I averaged out some numbers to fit them in … only a 2 ep discrepancy at most … but I see your point. Anyway, this is not exact science, only about trends. I like the visuals, though

    The visuals are great.

    I can understand the concern over the numbers, especially given how popular Rome was — 4 to 7m on overnights? It was a while ago but still in the DVR age, no?

    I wonder when the real decision on Season 3 will have to be made – early in the airing of Season 2 or late?

    I wonder if GoT will be propped up by DVD sales (which I still expect to be very good) and international sales.

    It’s weird to me to see the ratings not going up — the number of people I know who have jumped is rather high. It may just be my circles, but the only show I hear this much excitement about right now is Justified.

  116. Knurk
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Alan: It may just be my circles, but the only show I hear this much excitement about right now is Justified.

    interesting comparison. That show went from 2.5 million average for its first (awesome) season to a 3.5 million start for the second (brilliant) season, but then went down to a 2.7.


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