Season 2 premiere ratings jump
By Hear Me Roar on in News.

TV by the numbers has the … numbers! The initial airing garnered 3.9 million (3,858,000 to be precise), doubled its 18-49 demographic rating compared to series premiere with a 2.0, and was the most viewed programme on cable that night. This also means an increase of almost a million from last season’s finale. The next two airings on HBO later that night added 1.5m and 0.9m viewers, respectively. This gives a total of 6.3 million viewers for the night, not counting On Demand and HBO GO.

Hear me Roar: A bit shy of the 4 million mark, too bad, but those are some seriously good numbers.


152 Comments

  1. Ryan
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Woohoo! A bit lower than I hoped (4million) but that’s a good showing.

    Now greenlight Seasons 3 and 4 already!

  2. Harry The Heir
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Surely this secures another season? or another 2? Green light it already!!?!? Also as a general question, if you wanted to be an Extra in game of thrones, where would you have to look / what would you do?

  3. Hollyoak
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Awesome.

  4. Khal Dorko
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Excellent! Fantastic boost from last season and gives room to grow even more!

  5. Philip Duffy
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    It should be noted that GoT’s Season 2 premiere is tracking ahead of True Blood’s Season 2 premiere.

  6. Khal Zhen
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Buzz from the strong episode should continue to grow the viewership. Especially once on demand and HBO go numbers get added in.

  7. SergioCQH
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Pretty much as expected. Not thrilling but not disappointing either.

  8. serum
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    thought it would be a little higher but those numbers are amazing!

  9. Jason
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Those are great numbers…very good to see!

  10. Michelle
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    So all HBO has to do is fill in the relevant parts of their pre-written press release announcing season 3, right? ;-)

  11. Knurk
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Huzzah, let’s hope the pirating won’t cause a decline for next week.

    And before people here start to yammer it was a free-preview weekend: those numbers aren’t counted, only HBO-subscribers are in these ratings.

  12. Mike Kerns
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    How does that compare to Boardwalk Empire & True Blood?

  13. gotgotgot
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    With the ability to sell dvds/blu so quickly after a season has aired I would think HBO is making plenty of money to go ahead and get on with making more seasons.

  14. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Mike Kerns,

    It’s less than True Blood seasons 3 and 4 (and half of season 2 ), but it’s more than any episode of Boardwalk Empire except for the pilot.

  15. Mike Kerns
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Alexander Dubrovsky,

    Hmmm. I wonder what HBO’s “expectations” were.

  16. CurbYourEnthusiasm
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Alexander Dubrovsky,

    Its higher than True Bloods Season 2 Premier

  17. Empedocles
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Mike Kerns,

    The first episode of True Blood for season 2 was 3.7, so GOT beat the vampires. They finished with 5.1 by the end, though, so there’s some climbing to do.

  18. Robbet
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Awesome ratings!! I think everyone that can should watch episode 2 next week on HBO. Go watch online if you want, but help with the ratings and watch it when it premieres on HBO! The ratings will keep on going up and up, I think. I hope pirating won’t make them go down…

  19. Lars
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Great news! The season 3 renewal should be announced within hours, I would think.

    (season 4 may be announced too, but don’t expect back-to-back filming – it would mess too much with the actors & production scheduling)

  20. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    One guy predicted 3.856 and another 3.859….but then I stoped updating my excel around friday so mb someona nailed :P

    Decent numbers but I was expecting around 10% more…was a premiere after all :/

  21. JonathanL
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I watched on HBO Go, as I’m sure many others did, since it aired simultaneously with the on-air episode. I expect a decent bump there.

  22. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    CurbYourEnthusiasm,

    That’s why I said half of season 2 :) From Wiki, TB passed the 4 mil. mark from ep. 6 an on …

  23. BGAP
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Initially disappointed by this, but then reminded myself that HBO is NOT commercial TV. It’s about subscriptions and DVD sales as much as or perhaps more than the numbers of viewers watching the initial screening of an episode. Commercial TV is all about viewing numbers because it’s tied to advertising dollars. HBO is not.

  24. CurbYourEnthusiasm
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Empedocles,

    Im not even concerned about us catching True Blood this season. Look at True Blood now, its on the descent. Id rather continue a slow, steady climb and hopefully reach 4.5ish by the Season 2 finale.

  25. CurbYourEnthusiasm
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Honestly, it’s incredible to think that we’re even talking about catching True Blood. Same time two years ago we were all biting our nails wondering if this would even be successful. Truly great news.

  26. Arthur
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Referencing that chart that was threaded a while back, GoTs season 2 premier has better numbers then TB and BE. All we need to hope for is that the complexity of so many characters and things going on all around the world of Westeros won’t cause people to shy away from GoTs due to them simply not being able to understand or keep up with the plot.

    I have faith that the complexity of the plot is a strong point. Hopefully people will like a complex story line with deepened, more fleshed out characters that aren’t simply “goodguys or badguys”. Let’s just hope GoTs becomes HBOs flagship. According to season 2 numbers so far, it actually is…

    Edit: We also have to remember that outside the USA, GoTs is also a much bigger and more popular series in comparison to TB and BE. So keeping that in mind. I think it is safe to say Game of Thrones, is now HBOs flagship series… AWESOME!

  27. Petter Kristian Vikestad
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Feels so good being right. I knew 4,5 wasn’t a conservative estimate. lol

  28. afartherroom
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Very exciting! Thanks!

  29. Samantha Hirst
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Harry The Heir,

    1.) Live in Northern Ireland
    2.) Join NI Extras
    3.) Hope for the best.

    Alternatively.

    1.) Live in Croatia.
    2.) Look out for announcements in the paper/on the radio for open castings.
    3.) Attend those castings.
    4.) Hope for the best.

    Failing that:

    1.) Live in Iceland.
    2.) Look out for announcements in the paper/on the radio for open castings.
    3.) Attend those castings.
    4.) Hope for the best.

    Are you seeing a trend here? :)

    One thing to stress – you must have the legal right to work in these countries.

  30. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    just a question WiC the TVbytheNumbers chart shows (all Live+same day) so i thought the 3.9M would include all of the viewers on Sunday?

    where did you get the 1.5M and .9M for the 2nd and 3rd airings?

    just curious maybe i misunderstood the TVbytheNumbers chart …. quite possible.

  31. Jimalim
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Harry The Heir,

    If you live in northern Ireland you could sign up to Extras NI, or subscribe to their updates with your email address and they will give you details of an open casting call.

    Great numbers anyway! How many people watched on HBO go would you say…?

  32. Hilda
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    True Blood was riding the vampire wave trend when it got started. Seasons 1 and 2 were good (kinda stupid but good) season 3 sucked ass. Season 4 got better.
    But I don’t see it lasting many more seasons being that the vampire trend is about done.

    Boardwalk Empire is good,but slow.

    What I would really like to know is why more people don’t just get HBO for the ten weeks alotted and then cancel. It happens all the time here in the states. Maybe HBO is really expensive elsewhere. You don’t need packages or bundles,you can buy seperatly!

    Anyways,great ratings news! Hop it gets better and better. I expect we will hear today or tomorrow about season 3 pick up!

  33. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?, the other airings are listed separately and appear a little further down the list.

  34. Alwyn Joseph
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    6.3[6.278 m without rounding :P] is the important number here.
    Adding 2.4 million more viewers on the same night is impressive.

  35. Empedocles
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    CurbYourEnthusiasm,

    You’re right about that! It’s truly great news.

    It is true that the complexity of the plot is what could make people lose interest but it is also true that even if some of the storylines can prove to be more complex, there are others (like Jon’s and Daenerys’) which are pretty straightforward.

    I regularly watch Boardwalk Empire and I’ve lost track of the several alliances, hidden deals and new characters all the time. I actually think BE is much much more confusing than GOT in terms of “keeping track of characters”, since the characterization is not as good as that of GOT (too similar wardrobe and haircuts do not help).

  36. dancingwithmoriarty
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Hilda,

    I would…if I got HBO in my country :P
    I think GOT has surpassed TB and BE in popularity here in Portugal. At least from what I see, that seems to be the case, but I don’t pay much attention to the other two shows.

  37. RitariKnight
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Robbet:
    Awesome ratings!! I think everyone that can should watch episode 2 next week on HBO. Go watch online if you want, but help with the ratings and watch it when it premieres on HBO! The ratings will keep on going up and up, I think. I hope pirating won’t make them go down…

    It won’t really matter ratings-wise how many “regular” viewers watch next week’s episode (or any episode), since ratings are calculated from Nielsen households’ viewings. There are around 20,000 Nielsen households in the US (if my memory serves me correctly), and I’d guess about a quarter of them have HBO which would mean maybe 5,000 households or close enough. If we say each of those households has two people then it’s 10,000 potential viewers, but a more likely figure is somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 potential viewers (with a more likelier 2.5-3.0 people in a household) in those households. Then the question is how many of them are into GoT?

    Of course, ratings don’t really matter much to HBO, as it’s a subscription channel and not a network channel. These numbers are quite expected, but HBO is more interested in the final viewer figure, which takes re-runs, dvr’s, and online viewings (HBO GO, etc.) into account. I’m sure the final figure will exceed 10 million.

  38. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming:
    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?, the other airings are listed separately and appear a little further down the list.

    oh. sorry. duh. well that explains the chart title …. what a maroon.

  39. dig
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    It’s spring break down here and I’m one of those guys out of town without HBO. :( So I didn’t get to contribute to the numbers.

  40. RitariKnight
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    By the way, in the UK, the premiere got 522,000 viewers, which was more than five times the numbers for Mad Men’s season opener there (both on Sky Atlantic).

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/03/game-of-thrones-mad-men?INTCMP=SRCH

  41. Maxwell James
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Excellent.

  42. Jimalim
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    RitariKnight: By the way, in the UK, the premiere got 522,000 viewers, which was more than five times the numbers for Mad Men’s season opener there (both on Sky Atlantic).

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/03/game-of-thrones-mad-men?INTCMP=SRCH

    Is this good? What are sky atlantics usual figures?

  43. Sean
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, HBO decided to triple-air the episode back-to-back-to-back … making it nigh impossible to really know the true ratings of the premiere, but it’s definitely higher than that 3.9million.

    3.9 million tuned in for the 9PM EST airing.

    Another 1.5 million were tuned in for the 10PM airing.

    While I’m sure that there were many repeat viewers like myself who stuck around to watch the episode a second time, and those who simply didn’t change the channel … you can be assured that a good chunk of that 1.5 million were new viewers who were either watching/recording another show @ that primetime 9pm slot because it wasn’t going to air twice, or missed the start of the 9pm and waited for 10pm, or 10pm simply fit their schedule better.

    Conservatively I’d say at least 1/3rd of the second airing were new viewers, putting the actual ratings around 4.5million.

  44. Dee
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I’m holding my breath for the press release announcing the series renewal. I’m still hoping it will be a S3 & S4 renewal announcement, I really want them to film both seasons in one shot.

  45. Andrija
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Harry The Heir: Surely this secures another season? or another 2? Green light it already!!?!? Also as a general question, if you wanted to be an Extra in game of thrones, where would you have to look / what would you do?

    If you want to be an extra in Croatia you ought to contact Embassy Films http://www.embassyfilms.com/flash/index.html
    or you can just wait a bit and see when they send out a raven for new extras… And it would be a good idea to have someone living near the Grad i.e. Old Town of Dubrovnik or to find an accomodation early on when they set the date for the filming cause it will be a mad house :)
    I am coming from the other side of the country just for that (cca 900km give or take a few meters) and I am not alone in my intent. I even heard on a chat-room a plan that said they’ll organize a bus which will go from the capital towards the coast (Dubrovnik) and be full of GoT extra-wannabes :) Don’t know if that is true or just talk but the buzz is huge here in Croatia.

    Oh and guys don’t worry about the future seasons D&D apparently said to the Dubrovnik authorities that they are looking forward towards working with them in the years to come :)

  46. Hailey
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I hope they do a least 4 seasons of this, AT LEAST.
    If they stop this at season 3 or even at the end of this season, then it’s bascially been a waste.

  47. James
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Pretty good for Sky Atlantic. Apparently the 1st season premiere got about 950,000 and then fell off. But it was averaging around 300,000 an episode so this is marked ascendancy from that. To give you a better idea of how good that is, Sky were really putting the marketing into the 5th season of Mad Men and its premiere only pulled in 78,000.

  48. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Hailey,

    Why would it be a waste if it only got 3 seasons? Haven’t you been entertained yet? If so I don’t see how it has wasted your time.

    I think we all want to see the show make it all the way to the end though.

  49. Maxwell James
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Sean,

    Nielsen only counts unique views.

  50. Luca Corradini
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I think these are pretty good numbers: honestly, I always hoped for a steady and slow climbing (just like in season one) instead of a big splash followed by a stagnant viewership.

    In other words, I hope the season gains momentum, and that by the end of it audience grow by about 800,000 more.

  51. Josh
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    This article really prospective in terms of the ratings…

    http://www.deadline.com/2012/04/game-of-thrones-second-season-premiere-deliver-big-ratings/

    HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones kicked off its second season with 3.9 million viewers tuning in at 9 PM on Sunday, easily eclipsing the series’ previous high posted by the Season 1 finale in June (3 million). The second season opener was up 74% vs. Game Of Thrones‘ series premiere last year, and 27% vs. the finale. Across HBO’s three GOT plays on Sunday, the premiere accumulated 6.3 million viewers. With those numbers, consider a season three renewal imminent.

    That’s HUGE…74% increase and 27% increase? BIG numbers.

    This, coupled with the major DVD sales, means we have nothing to worry about in terms of getting more seasons.

  52. Liesie
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    My guess was pretty close :) But not close enough… Still happy about the ratings

  53. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I have personally watched it 3x already, so I’m doing my part.

  54. userj
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    So… HmR do you still consider your 4.0-4.5 rating prediction to have been “conservative”? You also said you’d be disappointed by anything less than 4 million. :)

  55. goober
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    wonder what the numbers were for people without sky atlantic/hbo on demand?
    sure you could add a million or so viewers to the final figure if you included dl’s.
    its funny,i have to pay for tripe i would never watch and make a point of avoiding(karaoke,cookery,dancing and other variations of the same show that give air time to talentless clowns).the bbc need to pull its head out of its arse.5 domestic channels all trying to do the same shit.christ,the only thing i watch from those 5 channels is news 24.its a good night light.

  56. Hippo the Hypocrite
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    “It’s too bad we couldn’t get quite enough viewers on Sunday night, but hey, let’s talk about the illegal download of the second episode, ’cause that will help!”

  57. Prankster
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    The reason GoT didn’t make 4 million viewers? It was up against the unstoppable juggernaut known as Wrestlemania.

    I may or may not be joking.

  58. Fish
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Nice numbers higher then i was hoping, and what are the dvd sales number for s1 now ? are they any good ?

  59. Tector
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Hey not bad! Good to see it doing better than True Blood at the same point because TB is considered a hug success, no?

    Anyone word on how the DVD’s are selling?

  60. Mike
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    This was expected. At least it set a ratings record for the show and I expect a gradual up hill climb. Hopefully the season finale’s numbers are even higher.

  61. Clob
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Sean,

    3.9 mil is great on its own, but HBO does look at all the numbers. Remember how they like to release the week long number that includes subsequent airings, HBO GO viewings, etc. That seems to be their favorite number. I certainly expect that number to also be much higher than any of S1′s. I still need to watch the premiere on GO to check out the extra notes and stuff.

    I’ve watched the first episode roughly 4 1/2 times so far on the tv.

  62. Allan
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    well where I come from we don’t get it .. well we do eventually half a year delayed.. and I won’t wait that long.
    so I’m downloading it illegally.. I make sure though to also buy the DVD.. I already got the first season..

    so I like to think I do my part..

  63. JamesL
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully HBO comes to its senses soon and stops the European HBOGO’s from releasing all this season episodes a week early. It doesn’t make any sense why they would do that.

  64. dizzy_34
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    That’s more than I thought. I was at about 5.1 for the whole night. This is good news. Season 3 coming soon…

  65. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    We’re close enough to 4 that I’m not really disappointed :) I said, perhaps conservative, but safe. The number is at the low end of expectations … but I was only partially wrong :)

  66. Jess
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    amazing! i’m expecting a s3 and s4 double renewal any minute now! *crosses fingers* I’m sure we’ll get past the 4mil marker by the series finale, if not sooner, so this is really just great great new! :D

  67. Jon
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Great start to the new season!! The only problem is the ratings system doesnt take into account the fact that Game of Thrones is EPIC! It is so epic that people watch it the way they watch the Super Bowl! We had 8 friends over for the season 2 premier. 6 of those 8 people all have bought the blurays of season 1. After hearing these numbers, I am going to tell them all to watch it at their own houses next week so you all can be sure that next week there will be at least 8 more viewers for the 9pm show.
    I just really hope HBO doesn’t make the same mistake they made with Rome and Deadwood. Sopranos, The Wire, Rome and Deadwood were some of the best shows ever and Rome and Deadwood were ended way too soon. If they each had a few more seasons their ratings would’ve continued to grow and HBO would’ve made millions off the DVD and Bluray sales. Although those shows were the best ever, Game of Thrones is better. If they continue it until the end of the books, it will go down as the greatest show ever made. The fact that I’m almost 30 and I love it, my 60 year old mother and father love it and 20 year old brother loves it, says a lot about what a wide range the audience is comprised of

  68. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    The ratings are good, especially over all three showings. Looking only at the first showing doesn’t make much sense for an episode that’s shown three times consecutively.

    So with good ratings, and being the biggest international hit ever for HBO, the show is in a great position.

  69. JC
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Great numbers…3.9 for first airing is a fantastic leap from last year. I expect it will come back down a bit next week (after all the anticipation built up over the past year) but hopefully we’ll start gaining after that.

    With the added viewers and the 6.3 million in one night, it’s quite possible we’ll be hitting 11 million total viewers on average per ep by season’s end, putting us within striking range of True Blood (to put in perspective, after the end of last season, HBO reported 9.3 million total viewers per ep on average versus Boardwalk Empire’s 8.4 million and True Blood’s 12.6 million).

    This is GREAT news no matter how high your initial expectations/predictions were.

    Now hopefully we can build on these numbers and HBO will give another budget boost for next season.

  70. Arthur
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
  71. HERP-DERP
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    ummm… so who won the “guess the premiere rating” competition you guys had?

  72. Eleanor
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Jon:
    We had 8 friends over for the season 2 premier. 6 of those 8 people all have bought the blurays of season 1. After hearing these numbers, I am going to tell them all to watch it at their own houses next week so you all can be sure that next week there will be at least 8 more viewers for the 9pm show.

    The ratings are computed from a sample. Unless any of your friends are part of that sample (a ‘Nielsen household’) them staying at home won’t make a blind bit of difference. So continue to have parties!

  73. Superdeluxe
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    So when do we hear about Season 3 and 4

  74. Balerion
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic ratings. And they will go up during this season.

  75. Josh
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Here’s another interesting article from Slate:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/03/game_of_thrones_how_hbo_and_showtime_make_money_despite_low_ratings_.html

    To be fair the article is kind of off…3.0 isn’t “low” for HBO and comparing an HBO 3.2 million to a Fox’s show 3.1 million is completely off base and inaccurate(given that EVERYONE gets Fox). And of course every TV journalist is calling last night’s rating HUGE and a smashing success(seriously, couldn’t wait a week before posting the article?)

    But still, it shows how HBO makes money in terms of GoT and that’s what’s important.

  76. Harald Natvik
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Allan,

    I’m from Norway and Canal+ hold the rights for Game of Thrones in Scandinavia. Last year we got the episodes two weeks after they were released on HBO in America. This year they’ll show them two weeks later than that, because of problems with getting them on HD in two weeks.

    I’ll probably watch them on Canal+ in Norway, but I can’t wait that long. I’m downloading them and then watching them on Canal+. Bought the Blu-Ray version, of course.

    I read the first book back in 2001 when I was 19 years old and got hooked.

  77. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    This is great news, especially when you think about all the other high profile cable shows that are shown that night on AMC and Showtime. I am pretty confident that ASOS will be adapted, frankly I can see HBO sticking with it till the end of ADWD because it’s going to keep bringing them in new subscribers, plus the dvd/Blu Ray and merchandise sales.

  78. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Josh:
    Here’s another interesting article from Slate:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/03/game_of_thrones_how_hbo_and_showtime_make_money_despite_low_ratings_.html

    To be fair the article is kind of off…3.0 isn’t “low” for HBO and comparing an HBO 3.2 million to a Fox’s show 3.1 million is completely off base and inaccurate(given that EVERYONE gets Fox).And of course every TV journalist is calling last night’s rating HUGE and a smashing success(seriously, couldn’t wait a week before posting the article?)

    But still, it shows how HBO makes money in terms of GoT and that’s what’s important.

    i think that article is pretty interesting. GoT has a few things going for it that no other show on HBO does:

    1. it’s overseas sales/distribution far outstrips any other show they have …. it is going to more foreign channels in more other countries and generating more revenue than any other HBO show

    2. the DVD and Blue-Ray sales are off the charts. i keep seeing the 350K number for DVDs in the first week but the numbers for Blue-Ray are tracked separately i think and form the source i found the DVD+BlueR units sold is over 1M after two weeks and over $50M. maybe that isn’t correct but i’d be interested to see just how many units of DVD + BlueR have sold and how much revenue it has generated.

    the Slate article says they got $25M for foreign rights and the show cost $60M to produce the first season. i have to think that with DVD+BlueR sales the show has already paid for itself in just those two arenas.

  79. Empedocles
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Josh,

    Very good read, thanks!

  80. Empedocles
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    If I remember correctly from one of those charts last week, sales figures for Blu-Ray and DVDs combined were over $50 million so with that and international sales, HBO has already passed the productions costs.

  81. Langkard
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Very nice improvement in the ratings. For my guess on the numbers I took the numbers for last season’s finale and then increased by a good percentage. I obviously didn’t increase them enough. Great news for the show and for HBO.

  82. Dennis
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Excellent news!

    I always wondered though how the ratings of HBO shows are truly calculated. As was said, the numbers mentioned do not include HBO Go or DVR viewers. In my circle alone I know 4 people who DVR-ed the first episode and watched it a day later.

    I do have a question for the folks who read the books that could potentially relate strongly to the continued success of GoT:

    I know a few folks who watch the show (primarily women who mentioned this) who said that they love the show but weren’t too impressed when the dragons come around in the last episode of S1. It appears the show currently has many non-fantasy lovers watching who simply love the drama, intrigue and extensive character development (kinda like a pseudo-medieval soap opera). These are the same people who would not watch Lord of the Rings because it is “too fantasy heavy”. I have only read the first book of this series because I’d rather be surprised by the TV show so without giving spoilers can someone riddle me this:

    Is the show likely to become much more fantasy heavy (spell-casting, dragons, fairies etc.) this season and beyond or is most of it likely to remain fairly realistic and understated as it has been up to this point. (I do not consider the direwolves to be an “issue” with the CGI as well done as it was in S2E1..several folks who don’t like fantasy thought it was real and cool).
    In other words; are the show’s fantasy elements likely to increase to the point where non-fantasy lovers might ultimately be turned off by the show?

    Sorry for the long comment!! ;)

  83. The Kingslayer
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    RitariKnight:
    By the way, in the UK, the premiere got 522,000 viewers, which was more than five times the numbers for Mad Men’s season opener there (both on Sky Atlantic).

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/03/game-of-thrones-mad-men?INTCMP=SRCH

    Wow I am surprised how low Mad Men’s figures are, sure the show has never been huge here but it got a pretty big push from the media, The Sunday Times had a big section on it the weekend before it aired here. Just think how bigger Game Of Thrones ratings were if everyone wasn’t so anti Sky/Murdoch and the media didn’t turn their noses up at it because it’s fantasy.

  84. mikeintexas
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Superdeluxe:
    So when do we hear about Season 3 and 4

    If we don’t hear anything today it’s probably because they are hammering out a budget.

    This year we had one big battle..Blackwater. Next year we have the attack on the Wall which I don’t think will be as expensive. You have the attack on Castle Black from the South which isn’t a large force, and the larger force north of the wall…well, you can’t see much detail from 700 ft high lol. GRRM said he realized he made the wall too high. Can you even shoot an arrow to the top of that wall? You will probably only see the battle that happens when Stannis’s forces arrive. The Red Wedding is no Blackwater and what goes on in Kings Landing is no biggie. That’s leaves Dany’s storyline and I can see them cutting out a lot and going straight to Mereen.

  85. RitariKnight
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Josh:
    Here’s another interesting article from Slate:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/03/game_of_thrones_how_hbo_and_showtime_make_money_despite_low_ratings_.html

    To be fair the article is kind of off…3.0 isn’t “low” for HBO and comparing an HBO 3.2 million to a Fox’s show 3.1 million is completely off base and inaccurate(given that EVERYONE gets Fox).And of course every TV journalist is calling last night’s rating HUGE and a smashing success(seriously, couldn’t wait a week before posting the article?)

    But still, it shows how HBO makes money in terms of GoT and that’s what’s important.

    A very good article even though it, like you said, wrongfully compares ratings for subscriptions channels like HBO and Showtime and network channels such as Fox. But that aside, it is a very good article, and one everyone here who’s been thinking that ratings somehow affect HBO’s decision on GoT’s future should read.

    HBO makes money differently from network television and therefore is not interested in the ratings like the networks are. Networks require ratings to make money, because they set the advertisement pricing by them, HBO does not have any ads or commercial breaks, so no need for ratings. HBO does not get one cent more money if the rating for one of it’s shows goes up, nor does it lose any money if it goes down.

    Also quite a few posters here think they can influence the ratings for GoT by watching it on HBO. They are most probably wrong. The only people who can affect the ratings are Nielsen household people. The chance that a random poster is one is quite slim.

  86. Craig
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Dennis,

    I think you make an entirely valid point. And yes, I do believe as more “traditional” fantasy elements are introduced, ratings will drop. That said, current levels of fantasy remain par for the course (at least through the current source material). We’re talking about GRRM; his books are about people, not magic.

    Further, as the series progresses, I believe the real ratings “test” will come at the expense of human elements, not fantasy.

  87. OhDanyBoy
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    mikeintexas,

    Those battles probably won’t take place in the third season. Remember, the third book will be spread over two seasons, so we might get one battle at the Wall (if that), and one or two of Daenerys’ battles. The rest will be in the 4th season.

  88. tysnow
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    To me the really big number is for the 1st and 2nd showings, as they are at 9 and 10 pm time slots. So 5.4 million households viewed GoT in that time frame, compared to around 2.1 mil for its series premiere (both time slots), thats is a staggering 160% increase between premieres, and a 70% increase from the finale.
    By the way, only original viewers counted, so if you watched both time slots, the numbers only count for the 9 pm slot.
    I would like to know what the highest total viewing number for an entire week for TB, was it 12 mil, or higher. We know GoT had near a 10 for the finale. If the percentages carry over, this means GoT may hit 12-14 million total viewers for the week, equaling or surpassing TB.

  89. Empedocles
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    Are you sure about that? That’s a really big difference. Jumping from 3.9 to 5.4 is huge. Are you sure repeat viewers don’t count? I have no idea.

  90. Knurk
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Empedocles,

    yes, repeat viewers do not count, same as ‘free-weekend’ viewers.

  91. Knurk
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    True Blood season 3 had 13 million total viewers, don’t know what the latest season accumulated to.

    Edited to say season 4 of TB averaged 12.6

  92. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    HERP-DERP,

    We know, but are not telling you just yet ;)

  93. Johan Sporre
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    0.1 mil less than I guessed, but it’s still plenty good :)

    DVDs are up to 600k+ sales in North America, whereas Blurays haven’t been updated for that week yet.
    Too bad we don’t have international DVD+Bluray numbers.

  94. Chris
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Craig,

    I think that for every person that may be turned off by the “fantasy” aspects of the show, there are just as many, and probably more, that are intrigued by it. Multiple people I know who aren’t fantasy fans have said, “I want to know what happens with the damn white walkers!” (I have to bite my tongue and not say “Well, even after 5000 pages, so do I!”

    People have been absolutely gobbling up stories like LoTR, Harry Potter, True Blood, The Hunger Games, etc. Not comparing those stories to ASOIAF, just saying that those are some of the highest grossing films and shows ever, and are all more fantastical than this show is.

    And even still, I don’t think the fantasy ever gets to the point where it would overpower any other aspects of the story. GRRM was really clever in introducing the story as a story about people and NOT fantasy, only allowing the fantasy to really creep in after that has been established, and even then, never changing the fact that it is a story about people.

  95. Johan Sporre
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    Why would you add the 2nd showing when adding numbers for this season, but not for last season? The 1st and 2nd together had 3.4 million viewers for the premiere last season.

  96. Harry The Heir
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Jimalim,

    Samantha Hirst,

    Andrija,

    Just to clarify, I’m a 16 year old aspiring actor and I live in the south of England, which in retrospect isn’t that far from northern ireland. Thanks anyway :) <3

  97. Judy Bouma
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Since nobody else has mentioned HBO being down for nearly an hour Sunday night, I assume that was a localized outage for our cable company, not nationwide. I don’t doubt that put a teeny dent in the ratings. I had missed the beginning of the first East Coast airing and intended to watch a later run in its entirety, except all but one of the 10 HBO channels became “temporarily unavailable” shortly into the second run. All HBO channels were back in time for the “premiere” on the West coast feed. (Which I watched from beginning to end.)

    Talk about horrified frustration!

  98. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I never knew that repeat viewers for the night weren’t counted. That is huge, IMO. I predicted that the premier would get 4.2 million viewers and the total for the night would be around 6 million, but I thought that would include repeat viewers for the 2nd and 3rd airings.

    As I have said before, HBO will never cancel this show. When they cancelled ‘Rome’ and ‘Deadwood’ they never took into account that they could make big money on DVD sales. As we are seeing, DVD/BR sales alone make HBO their money back on ‘Game of Thrones’ production costs.

  99. Alan
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    A lot has been said, but let me throw in another way HBO probably thinks about the number of people watching…

    HBO has a subscriber base of 28 million people in the US (I’m assuming the subscribers and people watching match up — it occurs to me 28M subscribers may actually be closer to 50 or 60 million people in the home).

    Four million (first showing) is 14% of the base.
    Six million is 21%.
    Ten million (close to weekly views last year) is 36%.
    Twelve million (my guess for weekly views this year) would be 43%.

    If even 14% of your customers like a product enough to purchase it regularly, that’s a big deal. If anything close to a third do, you don’t take it off the menu, even if your margins aren’t great, you know?

    It’d be like a gym removing elliptical equipment or a leg press machine. Yeah, there’s other stuff there you can use, but if that’s what you liked, you aren’t happy.

  100. sjwenings
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately this was a free weekend from HBO, so several non-subscribers watching was added to the total number. Hope it wasn’t too much.

    Though Boardwalk empires premiere was certainly boosted by this, and plummeted (though still to strong numbers) from the first to the second ep of their first season. Taking this into account,, I’m a little dissappointed – and consider the next episode to be the really telling one ratingswise.

    I guessed 3.8 sometething, though. So i was pretty right on the money. And isn’t being right what it’s all about?

  101. OhDanyBoy
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    sjwenings,

    Free weekend viewers are not counted towards reported totals, as I recall. Am I misremembering?

  102. sjwenings
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    OhDanyBoy,

    Oohh… I think you might be right – I seem to vaguely remember. But wasn’t that the reason BE empires premiere scored so ridicolously high….?

    Anyone?

  103. Seriano
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Just to comment about the non-advertising nature of HBO, I noticed something interesting:

    Here in Brazil, we get the portuguese version of HBO Latin America (all the rest of the programming is in spanish), so I don’t know if this applies to the rest of the continent. But here, the HBO channels have minimum advertising spots (like once or twice a day), always on the breaks between movies or other shows. What I could notice is that there were at least 3 products (or brands) that had their ads shown exactly before and after the series premiere on Sunday. And I had never seen those ads on HBO before.

    So it kind of looks like there are some companies that understand the big potential that GoT have to bring more viewers (among all HBO subscribers) to the channel in that timeslot and they actually pay for those ads, even though HBO doesn’t need them at all.

    And forgive me if I said anything wrong, my english still has to be improved :)

  104. userj
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    mikeintexas: That’s leaves Dany’s storyline and I can see them cutting out a lot and going straight to Mereen.

    There is no way they are cutting Astapor. D&D have indicated that the freeing of the Unsullied is their favorite scene in all of the books along with the other, obvious one. I am guessing that this will be the season finale in fact.

    Besides if they are going to cut any of Dany’s story it’s going to be impossible to split aSoS into two seasons which we all but know they are doing.

    Don’t know why people keep insisting on trying to cut Dany’s already barebones story in books 2 and 3. Ok, I get it, she’s not your favorite and you don’t care about her story. But it is many viewers’ favorite, and many book readers’ as well.

    ETA: Since your point was about the cost it’s really not difficult to do Dany war against Slaver’s Bay in its entireity. Since she doesn’t fight herself, the scenes are all but written for a show on a tight budget. Nearly all of it is planning battles with her advisers and treating with the enemy, all of which takes place in tents. They just need to have a shot of a CGI army in a field, CGI walls of Meereen, etc. And finally, the crowd of extras coming out of Yunkai shouting “mother!!”

    Astapor is the hardest/most expensive but again like I said D&D indicated this is their favorite scene in all the books besides you-know-what so they will not cut it.

  105. Alwyn Joseph
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    They also said that from now on they will be adapting the story as a whole.
    Well Bryan Cogman said it, and I think its the right decision. So it will still be around 7 seasons for the whole series, I don’t think the series will go beyong 8 seasons no matter how popular it gets, they can’t tie down actors like Dinklage, Headey etc; for that long, costs will only get higher. As long as they capture the essence of the story, I’ll be satisfied, Book 4 and 5 can do with major editing.

  106. RitariKnight
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    OhDanyBoy:
    sjwenings,
    Free weekend viewers are not counted towards reported totals, as I recall.Am I misremembering?

    They’re not counted in at all. The way Nielsen ratings work is that they have a representative number of households with the Nielsen box in order to be able to calculate statistically what the whole “nation” watches. So they have a fixed amount of HBO homes and use their viewing habits to calculate how many viewers nationwide supposedly watched a given show on HBO at a given time. We know that there are about 28 million subscribers for HBO in the US. There are, I believe, over 115 million households with TV’s in the US. That means that approximately every fourth TV household in the US has HBO. Therefore Nielsen needs to have the same relative number of household with HBO on their study or the ratings numbers won’t be statistically correct. Free weekend viewing is great for viewers but poses problems for ratings calculations, so it’s just better to leave them out.

    And the reason no repeat viewings are counted is because ratings are used for commercial advertisement pricing between TV networks and advertisers, and the advertisers want to know how many unique viewers saw the progr..eh, commercial, that is. That’s what they are paying for, after all.

  107. tysnow
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Johan Sporre,

    Oops, my bad, so that means only a 70% climb then, although most shows wished they had that BIG of an increase between seasons.

  108. Maxwell James
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    I agree with you that D&D absolutely shouldn’t (and won’t) cut Dany’s story next year. Frankly, I think her story really takes off in ASOS and cutting it down would be idiotic. Some of her best scenes are in that book.

    But – I do wonder if Meereen and Astapor need to be included, in terms of new sets, shooting locations, and casts. It seems to me the could just have her conquer Qarth instead. Some people clearly already believe that the show is suffering from too many locations, and while I thought the first episode of this season was awesome, I can understand the concern. So some simplification might be in order.

  109. Mimsy
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Dennis,

    I consider GOT to be fantasy lite compared to LOTR, Harry Potter and even Tru Blood (fairies & vampires.. seriously! I still watched it tho’.. hee hee. Alcaid is =o)

    What was I saying?? Oh, YES. If your friends are interested in the medieval soap aspect well.. they better buckle up! We’re about to go into Josie Grossie territory (holla to Never Been Kissed and unrequited love stories everywhere). I think GOT has plenty of story to go around.. even for non fantasy loving female viewers. Like any other show, you have to find a plot line or theme that you are totally digging and you want to see how it plays out. If a dragon happens to stomp its’ way onto the screen, it probably won’t bother the non fantasy viewer.

  110. Beneh
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    little bit OT:
    dont know if it was mentioned already here, but sine the “international airing” section doesnt list it, i guess its new:
    hbo and sky will start a skyatlantic network in germany next month. its mainly promoted with the 2nd season of Got, wich will also air in march already.
    ill leave it to your speculation, if theres a connection between HBO starting the network right now and the success of Got :)

  111. sjwenings
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    RitariKnight: They’re not counted in at all. The way Nielsen ratings work is that they have a representative number of households with the Nielsen box in order to be able to calculate statistically what the whole “nation” watches. So they have a fixed amount of HBO homes and use their viewing habits to calculate how many viewers nationwide supposedly watched a given show on HBO at a given time. We know that there are about 28 million subscribers for HBO in the US. There are, I believe, over 115 million households with TV’s in the US. That means that approximately every fourth TV household in the US has HBO. Therefore Nielsen needs to have the same relative number of household with HBO on their study or the ratings numbers won’t be statistically correct. Free weekend viewing is great for viewers but poses problems for ratings calculations, so it’s just better to leave them out.

    And the reason no repeat viewings are counted is because ratings are used for commercial advertisement pricing between TV networks and advertisers, and the advertisers want to know how many unique viewers saw the progr..eh, commercial, that is. That’s what they are paying for, after all.

    Solid answer, thanks. But can anyone confirm this for me, the eternal sceptic?

  112. Craig
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Chris,

    Valid points although the issue is moot as I do not anticipate the fantasy elements to extended beyond what we’ve already seen thus far. “If” D&D stay true to the source material that is. We’ve already seen a willingness to stray somewhat from the source material. While I find these new twists/scenes both exciting and nerve-racking, I for one hope they don’t stray too far and get lost.

    I think the introduction of Dragons last season let the cat out of the bad with respect to the bones of the show being rooted in Fantasy. Judging from the initial SE2 ratings, clearly this hasn’t impacted peoples appetite for AGOT. No worries I guess?

  113. Beneh
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Craig,

    the birth of dragons is totally different to a resurrection from the dead tho.

  114. Knurk
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    sjwenings,

    I can confirm that the dude from tvbythenumbers has stated multiple times Nielsen doesn’t count free-weekened viewers.

  115. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to everyone involved in the production of Game of Thrones. These numbers (and far higher!) are every bit deserved and it’s nice to finally become a fan of a television series with ratings it deserves. Many of my passions for as long as I can remember just didn’t get such support. :)

    And of course, congratulations to whoever ends up declared winner in that predictions topic. I low-balled, probably reflexively as I’m so accustomed to disappointment. LOL. But I wasn’t too terribly far off. I had 3.5 million and a 1.6 demo. I’m happy to see that the premiere performed better!

  116. gotgotgot
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Robbet,

    if anything pirating would make them go up. not down.

  117. Ismar
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m SO happy about ratings !!
    I hope the season ends by 6 mill.
    This show really deserve the best !!..GoT <3

  118. RitariKnight
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    gotgotgot:
    Robbet,
    if anything pirating would make them go up. not down.

    I’d be interested to know the reasoning behind your statement. So how does pirating make ratings go up?

  119. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    How many Neilsen households do you think pirated episode 2? I’d say zero to none.

  120. Zack
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Those are really good ratings. I think we’ll easily get 5+ seasons.

  121. sjwenings
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: I can confirm that the dude from tvbythenumbers has stated multiple times Nielsen doesn’t count free-weekened viewers.

    Cool! Then I’m really very satisfied by these numbers! We couldn’t realistically have expected more.

    I think the vast majority of the people that have seen all of season 1 and still tune in, are here to stay. The story, actors and all the other people involved will remain top notch, so the show really should be able to stay on for at least 4 seasons.

  122. sjwenings
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Ismar: I’m SO happy about ratings !!
    I hope the season ends by 6 mill.
    This show really deserve the best !!..GoT <3

    One can hope, but I’d be satisfied with a dip to 3.2/3.3 for ep 2-9 and up again to 3.8 for the finale. These numbers are stronger than both Mad men and Boardwalk – which is impressive.

  123. Sean
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    JC,

    Season 1 debuted @ 2.2 initial, 4.4 cume…. as a season it averaged 2.5 initial and 9.3 total….

    Using the Season 2 debut numbers of 3.9 initial and 6.3 cume… and then assuming the average total is roughly double the cume views, we’d be looking at 12.6 million average total views.

    For perspective … The Sopranos was ~13 million average total.

  124. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    The show will get as many seasons as David and Dan want.

  125. Brad Villane
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    The fact that we haven’t got an official renewal yet, I think, is a good sign for those of us hoping for a 2 season renewal. A lot of logistics to iron out before they go ahead with that.

    What I’d be interested to see, and what probably matters more than anything is if the number of HBO subscribers went up leading up to the show.

  126. Andrija
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Harry The Heir: Jimalim, Samantha Hirst, Andrija, Just to clarify, I’m a 16 year old aspiring actor and I live in the south of England, which in retrospect isn’t that far from northern ireland. Thanks anyway :) <3

    Here is a little tip from me, if you get the opportunity to attend the casting for extras, grow a beard (that is if you can at the age of 16) and visit the gym on occasion, my friend was hitting the gym this summer cause he found a new girlfriend and wanted to show off a bit and she had a thing for facial hair so he indulged her in that department also… Anyways when he showed up at the casting the immediately hired him (after asking him if he can swim well) :)

  127. GerardPatten
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Considering AMC was trying to cut into with a 2 hour season premiere of the killing and 10pm with MadMen, those numbers were great!! Wonder what they did?? Loved the first episode, this is such a great series!!

  128. TC
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    So i’m in LA and the premiere fell right in the middle of dinner (6pm) with my wife and kid so I watched the later one which was 8pm. Why are they making a big deal of the 3.9mm number and not the 6.3mm? Us west coasters probably watched the 7 or 8 for the most part. 3.9mm is biased toward the east coast. It is my understanding they do not double count.

  129. David
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Tywin’s Bastard,

    If this thing ends after the next season or two, everyone is going to want to shoot themselves. Trust me on that.

  130. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    TC,

    Yeah, the show had 6.3 million viewers on Sunday night. I don’t know why people put so much emphasis on the first airing for an HBO show. HBO cares about how many of their subscribers watch throughout the week on every platform.

  131. Mike Chair
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    RitariKnight: By the way, in the UK, the premiere got 522,000 viewers, which was more than five times the numbers for Mad Men’s season opener there

    James: To give you a better idea of how good that is, Sky were really putting the marketing into the 5th season of Mad Men and its premiere only pulled in 78,000.

    The Kingslayer: Wow I am surprised how low Mad Men’s figures are

    sjwenings: These numbers are stronger than both Mad men and Boardwalk – which is impressive.

    The Huffington Post duels with itself:

    ‘Mad Men’ Is Better Than ‘Game of Thrones’

    vs.

    ‘Game of Thrones’ Is Better Than ‘Mad Men’

  132. Vince
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Dee,

    They won’t film back to back, they’ve said they won’t (the writer/producers).

  133. Lars
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    TC:
    So i’m in LA and the premiere fell right in the middle of dinner (6pm) with my wife and kid so I watched the later one which was 8pm.Why are they making a big deal of the 3.9mm number and not the 6.3mm? Us west coasters probably watched the 7 or 8 for the most part.3.9mm is biased toward the east coast.It is my understanding they do not double count.

    If you are in LA, don’t you have the west coast HBO feed? Or do you get the east coast feed via satellite? Because most west coasters would not be able to watch it until 9 pm.

  134. Critical Geek
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I like how the final complaint about Game of Thrones in the pro Mad Men article is that Game of Thrones is too engrossing and makes it difficult for him to leave it’s made up world for the real world the next Monday Morning. >:)

  135. Nigel Tufnel
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    If they do green light another season, I’m hoping they either expand the number of episodes to 12-13, or at least give extra time to the season opening and closing episodes (90-120 minutes).

  136. Jon
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    Okay Eleanor!! I appreciate the info! I’m not that educated on how all this works…I just love Game of Thrones!! I love it so much that this is the first time I’ve ever even wrote on a website

  137. gotgotgot
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Nigel Tufnel,

    I would agree that the premiere and finale episodes should be another 30minutes each . Make it an event. During S2 premiere I actually looked at the clock.. dreading that it would be ending soon. The Time went by so fast.

    Or adding another 2 episodes for a 12total season would be nice.
    Having to wait another year for S3 is going to be a killer.

  138. Lord Bennett
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    Adding more episodes to the seasons is a must, especially with how much they will have to cover….remeber seeing though that ASOS would be split between season 3 and 4. Just hope the popularity continues and they can take this full circle would be crushed to see the series end without being able to cover everything.

  139. Blair Dale
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    It’s also worth noting that many fans gather in groups to watch GoT, I know I was in a group of close to 15 people, so technically the number is really higher than this.

  140. Cookie
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    gotgotgot:
    Nigel Tufnel,

    I would agree that the premiere and finale episodes should be another 30minutes each . Make it an event. During S2 premiere I actually looked at the clock.. dreading that it would be ending soon. The Time went by so fast.

    Or adding another 2 episodes for a 12total season would be nice.
    Having to wait another year for S3 is going to be a killer.

    Not gonna happen. At least, thats what the producers said quite a few times already. It seems that making 10 Episodes per year is a tall order already, with a series as ambitious as GoT. Also, unlike almost every other show ever, they don´t have (and don´t seem to want) a “writing staff”. Which means, D & D have to write the majority of the scripts themselves.

    Not making more than 10 Episodes seems to be a “quality over quantitiy” decision. Therefore i will be glad, if they stick to that.

  141. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    TC,

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    We make a big deal of all the numbers. And you’re right, HBO is usually happily reporting numbers of the entire night, and then the long term cumulative per episode average.

    For our charts, we’re using the initial airing for purposes of comparison – since the numbers we have on other, past shows are usually limited to that.

    If anyone manages to collect daily totals (broken down per individual airing, preferably) of each True Blood and Boardwalk Empire episode (and possibly others), please let us know!

  142. RitariKnight
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Blair Dale:
    It’s also worth noting that many fans gather in groups to watch GoT, I know I was in a group of close to 15 people, so technically the number is really higher than this.

    You are correct, but this is totally irrelevant to Nielsen ratings. They don’t try to tell how many people actually watched a show but only a statistically calculated estimate. (It’s more like a guestimate since the science behind it doesn’t translate very well to human behavior studies, but that’s not really important as the TV business has accepted this system and goes with it even though it’s become somewhat obsolete with new ways to watch shows propping up in recent years.)

    This has been said many times already, but since most people seem to think that Nielsen somehow gets everyone’s viewing habits in to their databases, I’ll say it again:

    ONLY NIELSEN HOUSEHOLDS VIEWINGS CONTRIBUTE TO THE RATINGS!

    YOU CAN’T AFFECT THE RATINGS UNLESS YOU HAVE A NIELSEN BOX!

    (Sorry about the shouting, I just don’t understand this fixation on ratings with subscription channels. HBO don’t do anything with initial airing ratings nor do they really even need to know them from a business point of view.)

  143. Sword of the morning
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Personally, I could careless about the ratings that the other shows received. As long as the ratings for GoT keeps going up and up I’m happy. Not only does it mean that they’ll keep making episodes but it means that I also have more people to talk about the story with and more people to share crackpot theories with (mine and theirs) lol.

  144. Burgos
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    HBO I think is on board as long as they keep making a lot of money. :D That said with DVD/BD now being considered a benefit Rome/Deadwood did not receive we’re safe for a long time to come. :D

    Plus!!! We’re not even to some of the best parts of the stories that like Ned’s Beheading will only get more people to watch. Red Wedding will raise the bar and cause a lot more to watch in some format or another. Keep in mind the source only gets better (feast/dance do drag on and on at times)

  145. garyd
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The ratings in the UK did very well for the 2nd series premiere on sky atlantic, over half a milion watched it monday night. The new season of mad men only had 50,000 viewers on the same channel only 5 days before. As other people have mentioned i think ‘game of thrones’ has a bigger international appeal than most other tv shows coming out of the US. Hopefully hbo will take this into account when deciding to carry the show on.

  146. Maxwell James
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    RitariKnight,

    This site could probably use an FAQ on how Nielsen ratings work, and their limitations when it comes to HBO’s programming.

  147. Michael W
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Got the demo bang on but I was 292,000 over with the ratings. Fingers crossed for 5 million by the finale!

  148. Canary
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    RitariKnight,

    The problem is that the Neilsen system is quite arcane and not actually all that great in the modern era. They are slow to adapt to media change, and media changes very rapidly. It’s true that HBO really doesn’t care all that much, IMO, about the Neilsen ratings – much more about subscription numbers and DVD sales.

    Neilsen ratings be damned – I would be extremely curious to see HBO subscription numbers from the past two years, and see if GoT precipitated any significant bumps in subscriptions. I would bet it did. I subscribed specifically for GoT, while having previously waited for other shows on HBO that I enjoyed to come out on DVD (specifically, Rome and True Blood). I now keep the HBO subscription primarily for GoT and True Blood and some OnDemand films from time to time.

  149. Elaine ewing
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    We’ll be discussing this and lots more tomorrow night after GOT. Check us out last weeks show, here! http://youtube.com/streamingarage Stupid for Game of Thrones is the latest fan show from YT leader Streamin’ Garage (Super Scary Horror Theater, Stupid For Movies, Stripped Down Live, Stupid For Dexter). Our hosts are superfans Bob Jennings (bobjenz: Annoying Orange) and Sarah Penna (Big Frame/Bammo). If you like us please subscribe!

  150. TC
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Lars,

    Lars – i have plain old Time Warner Cable. The episode airs starting at 6pm with repeats at 7, 8, and 9. Might not be the same everywhere but I’ll be watching the 7pm tonight when I could watch the 6. Take care.

  1. [...] shows, but in turn that makes them more money. And Thrones is making a lot of money for them. The season two premiere ratings show that the audience for this show continues to grow and with it a jump in revenue. So fear not, [...]

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