GoT wins Sunday ratings with the slightest of drops
By Hear Me Roar on in News.

TV by the Numbers has released the ratings for Sunday cable shows, and it looks good for Thrones. After the opening hour reached 4.4 million viewers last week, the episode two number is 4.3 million. This was enough to win the night (by quite a margin):

Game of Thrones was Sunday’s top cable original with a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating.

To go in more detail, the initial airing  was seen by 4.27 million people, and the 10 PM repeat by an additional 1.27 million, for a total of 5.54 million for the night.

UPDATE: Oops, there were actually three airings of the episode on Sunday. James Hibberd thus reports a total of 6.4 million for the night (an additional 0.9 million, the standard fare for a third airing).


73 Comments

  1. superdeluxe
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The fact we the drop off was so low from premiere is a great sign!

  2. superdeluxe
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    HODOR!

  3. Summer Is Coming
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    So a bit lower than last week, but still higher than S2 finale… why the ratings don’t grow? I was hoping this week for at least 4.5, since TWD and other stuff were out…

    Edit: Mad Men premiered… let’s blame it on them!

  4. Baihu1983
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Wrestlemania…..

  5. Matt S
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Didn’t expect a drop off, thought it would rise since it wasn’t competing against the Walking Dead but good that it won the night nonetheless.

  6. Sky Aero
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I think it’ll gradually rise over the coming weeks/episode. With the 10th possible to break the 5 mil. Barrier?

  7. OtherAndrew
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    It is extremely unusual for episode two of a show to top the (heavily marketed) premiere in ratings. I expected more of a drop-off. This is good news!

  8. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Solid. I really think viewership will start building at about the middle of the season when the really exciting stuff starts happening and will peak, as per usual, at the finale.

    The first two episodes have been great but a little slow. Nevertheless, I think the show has built up enough goodwill that the viewing figures won’t drop for next episode.

  9. Saark
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Considering that a bunch of people had a free HBo preview for the first episode, I’m not surprised at the slight drop in official ratings.

  10. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Saark,

    Free preview is not counted in the ratings.

  11. direhound
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Mad Men premiere was also on at the same time (two hour premiere) and GoT had more viewers but I’m sure it impacted the number.

  12. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    direhound,

    At least a little bit. I predict GoT will go flat next week, and then we rise from there :)

  13. sunspear
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Too many people watch on Demand or in different time slots for us to get much higher. I only manage to catch the rerun at 11. Oh, well, we’re still almost every show on TV.

  14. glenn
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    does it take into account people who recorded it for later viewing? if there was a clash of shows/interests you can lose a large number for the original airing

  15. Juice
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    OtherAndrew:
    It is extremely unusual for episode two of a show to top the (heavily marketed) premiere in ratings. I expected more of a drop-off. This is good news!

    Exactly !

    It would be great to get 5 million for the finale, but we won’t get close to that for at least few weeks I think.

  16. Ned
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I’m shocked ratings didn’t rise. Episode 1 had three things working against it …. 1. Easter Holiday Weekend, 2. Walking Dead Finale, 3. Free HBO Weekend (I have friends that waited until episode 2 before they ordered HBO) … I thought ratings would go UP atleast 100,000. I hate to be that guy that brings it up, the endless piracy debate … But I wonder what ratings would look like if people (in the US) didn’t steal the show? And yes of course it was renewed, I’m aware …. But imagine what GoTs budget would be if they had 6 million initial airing viewers vs. 4 million and change … More Dragons, More Direwolves, More New Characters, More Battles. Please consider buying HBO if you don’t.

  17. ASOIAF Fan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Ned,

    For the US ratings i don’t know but i’m fairly certain that without torrents the DVD/Blu-ray sales wouldn’t be half as high.
    I personaly convinced people to buy a total of more than 100 copies of dvd/blu-rays sets, 86 of those wouldn’t have been sold if i hadn’t introduced these people to the show by less legal means (yeah i would have bought the 14 i own anyway).

  18. Nick_Scryer
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    OtherAndrew,

    This.

  19. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Ned,

    There was no shift towards later viewing last week (unexpectedly, perhaps), so no big rise this week is no shock.

    The total weekly numbers with all the delayed viewings and repeats will be available later at some point, when they are ready and HBO decides to release them. Surely more than 12 million this time around (11.6 was the latest number we head for last season’s average).

  20. WinWolf
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    who cares about US ratings….

  21. Jaime Saltcliffe
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    WinWolf,

    Advertisers and everyone else

  22. Max
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    That’s up against Wrestlemania, the Final Four, and Mad Men

  23. jasonw
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    hey Winter and crew,

    What if you did a graph of what you think the ratings will be this season so we can see how right (or wrong) you are.

  24. Matt
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Guys the REAL test now is to see what the ratings are for EP3…

    EP1 had freaking Giants, Dragons, tons of cool stuff and EVERYONE was psyched for the next episode. EP2 had nothing except warging and some direwolf scenes. Plus they introduced tons of new characters and as some people have expressed here (myself included) not every scene/character hit the mark.

    I’d say you’ve got 4 Million dedicated fans who love the show, but to bring that up to 5 Mil they need elements that are going to bring in casual viewers (Dany, dragons, Jamie Lannister etc) on a consistent basis.

    I will watch this Sunday, as I’m sure a good 4 Million others will. But I am definitely not as pumped for it as I was going into Episode 2.

  25. Alan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    WinWolf:
    who cares about US ratings….

    HBO. At least in the sense that they very much care about how many people watch it in the United States.

  26. Kevin
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I actually missed it on Sunday night. I was at a friend’s place watching Wrestlemania, (the first time I’ve watched a wrestling ppv in about 10 years). I recorded GOT and watched it last night.

    it wasn’t up against the Final 4, the semifinals were Saturday, the Championship game was Monday. nothing was Sunday

  27. Alen
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I think we can expect this kind of numbers for future episodes and then a rise for the finale. That’s how it happened in the past 2 seasons. And that’s great actually. These numbers are huge for HBO. We already got a confirmation that GoT is their top money-earning program because of the DVD and international sales. So I’m quite happy

  28. Hear Me Roar
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Matt,

    In our experience nothing indicates that viewership fluctuates with the awesomeness factor of the previous episode. My expectations are largely flat, with a rise in the last few episodes of the season. 5 million is attainable by the finale.

  29. Dan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Jaime Saltcliffe:
    WinWolf,

    Advertisers and everyone else

    What advertisers? It’s on HBO…

    HBO cares about first airing ratings only to the extent that it’s one of many indicators of how many people watch. HBO doesn’t care when you watch Game of Thrones, only that you do watch Game of Thrones, and they actually on care about that to the extent that its an indicator that you are paying for HBO because you want to watch Game of Thrones. Frankly, if you bought HBO because you wanted to watch Game of Thrones and then missed this episode entirely, that’s still a win for them.

  30. tysnow
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Matt,

    I have to agree that though it was awesome to see Olenna and Thoros, and have a few minutes with Arya/Gendry and Jaime/Brienne. The juggling of scenes is becoming excessive, I realize they are attempting to adhere as closely to the books as possible, but I fear for the worse if they continue to introduce the plethora of characters and arcs from future books. We don’t have a 20 episode season, therefore D&D need to make the tough choice concerning which stories from Feast and Dances need to go, bye bye, and of course the subsequent personalities. I don’t want to wait every third episode to see my favorites, and likewise only have one or two brief 3-4 minute scenes every other episode either. Therefore I put forward the idea which I mentioned before to…
    trash the Ironborn Kingsmoot, keeping Asha, Theon and Balon, scrapping the rest (Dany can get her ships elsewhere). Taking Arya and have JH train her in Oldtown, forget the Braavos arc completely. Delete Quentyn, restructure Tyrion’s Essos adventures and the Dornish arc, keeping the story rooted in Sunspear and avoid the Dornish road trip.
    …I am sure there are other viable alternatives in restructuring the adaption so we can maintain the primary story, while removing or combining the continuing increase in arcs and characters, mine was just one of these options.

  31. garik16
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    People need to stop being silly with expecting rises. The second season debuted at 3.86 and basically hovered around there, slightly going up and down until episode 9, where the rating dropped by a bit for Blackwater, before going to a clear season high for the finale.

    Ratings this year will do the same – hover around the 4.3/4.2 mark until the last two episodes (really the final episode – the big episode 9s get people talking and coming back for the finale.)

  32. sCor
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I really don’t think ratings matter much beyond this point. If they manage to keep them around 5 Mio, it’s more then enough, because the majority of the money is coming in through DVD/Bluray sales.

  33. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    ASOIAF Fan:
    Ned,

    For the US ratings i don’t know but i’m fairly certain that without torrents the DVD/Blu-ray sales wouldn’t be half as high.
    I personaly convinced people to buy a total of more than 100 copies of dvd/blu-rays sets, 86 of those wouldn’t have been sold if i hadn’t introduced these people to the show by less legal means (yeah i would have bought the 14 i own anyway).

    100?? 86?? 14?? Hahahahahahaha!!

  34. Lucas
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Guaranteed the actual “ratings” for the episode were much higher than that. This only counts the TV viewers, not the online viewers (legal and illegal), which there are MANY.

  35. delirium0733
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Once the season kicks into gear, those ratings will break some massive HBO records.

  36. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    People still focus way too much on the initial 9PM ratings. As Hear Me Roar pointed out, season 2 averaged 11.6 million viewers per episode, but some people still believe that it only averaged 3.8 million.

  37. mikeintexas
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    Kingsmoot–It can definitely be scaled down, but the Kingsmoot is where we are introduced to the Horn. The Horn is a major plot development and I suspect is ultimately the reason Dany finally comes to Westeros. I don’t want Victarion just showing up with the horn out of the blue–it will feel very contrived and Deus ex Machina.

    I don’t know where Arya is going by the end of book 5. Unlike other new areas, Bravos isn’t chockful of new characters..just the kindly man and the girl.

    We don’t need to follow Quentyn, but he can still definitely be in the series. All we need is an establishing scene that he has made it to Mereen, a scene with his audience with Dany where he is rejected, a scene where he plots to ride a dragon, and the scene where he is fried. Just 4 scenes. All in Mereen where we know the series is going because you can see it on the introductory credits. I think Yunkai is going to be cut.

    I agree that the Dornish road trip can probably be nixed, but I want the attempted coronation in there…it’s really the only drama that happens in Dorne.

    Brienne’s arch definitely needs to be scaled back.

    Sam’s ship trek probably won’t happen–he will probably just go to Oldtown possibly by land w/o Aemon.

    Tyrion’s arch I agree is problematic..but he’s also the most popular character on the show. I don’t think reducing his screen time is going to appease the audience

  38. MedievalFantasy
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand the “It should be higher” statements. No, it shouldn’t, if earlier seasons are anything to go by. The premiere normally gets the highest rating, with the next 8 episodes hovering a little lower than the premiere, with the finale reclaiming the highest ratings. This is the case with seasons 1 and 2, and also many TV shows as well.

    There’s no need to come up with the excuse of “It had to go up against Wrestlemania and Mad Men”. 4.3 will be where the season will hover around, MAYBE it can peak to 4.5 in the middle of the season.

  39. mikeintexas
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    mikeintexas,

    Damn it. Can a moderator apply spoiler tags to my post. Apparently I have to do it for each paragraph.

  40. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Speaking just of the 9 PM premier, I do think it will gradually increase throughout the season, and not just hover around the same number like last year. Knowing the endings to episodes 3 and 4, and hearing that they are two really good episodes, I think the viewership will be around 4.5-4.6 million for episodes 4 and 5. I still believe 5 million is possible for the finale.

  41. ASOIAF Fan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    Since S1 was available on amazon US before it hit the stores in my country (and cheaper), i proposed to take care of the order for everyone interested (work, friends, family, nearly everyone i “forced” to watch at my place when the torrent is out).
    I ended up ordering 37 season 1 sets (10 for myself, all of them “collector” : with GWB’s head), some of those i bought it for (at least 5) bought it again by themselves afterward to offer, most of them got season 2 by themselves.
    And i have at least 10 people who were late to the party (and the big massive order of S1 sets) who discovered the show at my place and now own their legal copies of both seasons.
    I bought 6 blu-ray/4 dvd set of season 1 for myself (as much to help the production and ensure that the show gets to the end as to be able to offer it at will), will do the same for season 2 but for now i only have 2 of each. I only gifted 2 season 1 sets to people who would never have bought them themselves even if they enjoy the show (i shouldn’t encourage them, but i’m always conflicted between sharing art with as much people as possible to make it available to as many people as possible, and forcing them to invest in it to help the production).
    The show has a huge value in box set i never thought so many people would end up buying it just because i asked them to, but in the end i haven’t be able to gift more than 2 box sets, everyone else was willing to pay.

    So yeah the numbers i gave are estimates (except the 14 i bought myself), but it should be close to that.

  42. Alan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    garik16:
    People need to stop being silly with expecting rises.The second season debuted at 3.86 and basically hovered around there, slightly going up and down until episode 9, where the rating dropped by a bit for Blackwater, before going to a clear season high for the finale.

    Ratings this year will do the same – hover around the 4.3/4.2 mark until the last two episodes (really the final episode – the big episode 9s get people talking and coming back for the finale.)

    More or less. I don’t even think the Ep 10 rise is really due to great Episode 9s; it’s due to the premiere and finale being “event” viewing and people tend to watch first night on those more.

    We also tend to way overestimate the effect other shows have on GoT’s ratings. It wasn’t Mad Men this week and it wasn’t TWD last week. (And given relative ratings, there’s no way MM draws more viewers from GoT’s initial showing than TWD.)

    We always anticipate this and use it to explain, but it never really predicts well. This year’s initial viewing will be in the low 4′s and probably beat 4.5 for the finale but I doubt it comes anywhere near 5.

  43. Alan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    mikeintexas:

    If the only role of Victarion is the horn… it can be introduced other ways.

    I forget the name, but it feels like Arya is leaving the HofB&W and Braavos altogether at the end. It may not be a place, but I can’t see her staying in Braavos.

    I hope they keep Dorne, but I can write the story without it.

    Tyrion’s travels will be simplified from a location perspective. But I think they will take advantage of making him a slave, storywise.

  44. garik16
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Alan: More or less. I don’t even think the Ep 10 rise is really due to great Episode 9s; it’s due to the premiere and finale being “event” viewing and people tend to watch first night on those more.

    We also tend to way overestimate the effect other shows have on GoT’s ratings. It wasn’t Mad Men this week and it wasn’t TWD last week. (And given relative ratings, there’s no way MM draws more viewers from GoT’s initial showing than TWD.)

    We always anticipate this and use it to explain, but it never really predicts well. This year’s initial viewing will be in the low 4′s and probably beat 4.5 for the finale but I doubt it comes anywhere near 5.

    This. Heck, every week there’s always some other event on that supposedly detracts from GOT’s ratings – it’s hilarious if you go back into the ratings threads from the last few seasons.

  45. Juego de Tronos
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Great ratings! I hope when the show become more interesting (the last episodes), these ratings will up very much.

  46. John
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think GOT will break the 5 million barrier,i’m betting between 4.4-4.6 million season 3 high ,probably during the 9th episode or the finale.

  47. Maxwell James
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, I suspect GoT is basically done growing. It’s only a hair behind True Blood for HBO’s most-watched show in the US (if that), and is easily its most-watched show internationally. It’s going to get harder and harder to add viewers as the seasons pile up due to the complexity of the story. Unless HBO suddenly has a subscriber boom, I think GoT’s ratings are mostly set – at a very healthy level.

  48. Alan
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James:
    For what it’s worth, I suspect GoT is basically done growing. It’s only a hair behind True Blood for HBO’s most-watched show in the US (if that), and is easily its most-watched show internationally. It’s going to get harder and harder to add viewers as the seasons pile up due to the complexity of the story. Unless HBO suddenly has a subscriber boom, I think GoT’s ratings are mostly set – at a very healthy level.

    Yep.

    The revenue streams that HBO will be looking to going forward is in the DVDs and possibly syndication/HBO GO retention in the long run.

    When I bought my Season 2 DVD, there was a whole display of Season 1 that had been raided as well. This DVD will have legs.

  49. Matt
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,

    I completely agree that that the Finale should pull 5 Million easily, especially given what takes place the episode before…

    I don’t mean to be so negative, I think I have such high expectations that when things aren’t always 100% awesome I get sad. I want GOT to be awesome ALL the time :)) I’m also a huge Dany/Jorah/Selmy fan so him not appearing in Ep2 didn’t help!

  50. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    The show will probably hit another series high on the fifth episode, and the finale, as well. Calling it now. These are great numbers for the show.

  51. DH87
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap: People still focus way too much on the initial 9PM ratings. As Hear Me Roar pointed out, season 2 averaged 11.6 million viewers per episode, but some people

    They do so because it is the only way to compare apples to apples. Broadcast TV shows do not repeat endlessly, nor do they rely on DVD sales, nor do they sell subscriptions that provide access to HBO Go. The 9 PM ratings are the closest thing to head to head competition the admittedly imperfect ratings system has come up with and remain inordinately important to critics, bloggers, and execs. Look at all the hype Vikings has gotten on the History Channel (assuming you care about US TV programming.) It’s entirely as a result of the first-airing numbers.

  52. DH87
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    Agree. I think 5 million first-time viewers per week is perhaps too optimistic. The show is doing very, very well at 4.5 million and if that holds through everything that we know happens during the season, I think that will be an achievement. GOT still is not every premium viewer’s cup of tea and never will be, minus one (im)possible change. If you look at Vikings. you see high production values, good writing and…..an Australian former male underwear model in the lead role. (DH87 ducks for cover.)

  53. JamesL
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    HBO took GOT S1 off on demand so it is going to be hard for the show to grow its audience more this year. That’s how this show has grown its audience so much over the years, from people hearing about it and marathoning it through HBO on demand. I know it is still on HBOgo but only a small percentage of HBO users use that. Once this season heats up there is going to be a lot of word of mouth but now HBO had made it much harder for new viewers to catch up.

  54. Blackfyre
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    HODOR!

  55. Arthur
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Offtopic:

    Good news for everyone, Vikings also has been getting good ratings and season 2 has been approved!

    Sunday night in Spring will continue to be the most entertaining night of television.

    Soon there will be all kinds of GoT type epic TV series to watch!

    http://www.seat42f.com/history-renews-vikings-for-a-second-season.html

  56. DH87
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Good news, indeed. It was natural that GOT would spawn a basic-cable offspring, which is how I view Vikings, not only because GOT was a ground-breaking show but also because U.S. basic cable channels are worried about the possibility of a la carte options to be offered by cable carriers like DirecTV, Comcast, Time-Warner, etc. Cable distributors are losing viewers by the tens of thousands strictly due to the high cost of the monthly packages they offer, and there has been discussion about offering a budget option that would allow the customer to choose, say, twenty channels for a low monthly fee. More Vikings/medieval fare could affect GOT if enough is offered that HBO viewers who subscribed just for GOT might save their $16 a month and settle for Vikings on basic cable.

  57. Ser Hound
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    JamesL,

    I guess they figure everyone is just pirating it anyway… Or they’ll just buy the DVDs after hearing all the hype… Not a huge deal IMO

  58. Al Swearengen
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Baihu1983,

    Haha Undertaker vs. CM Punk kicked ass.

  59. WildSeed
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    DH87:
    Alan,

    Agree. I think 5 million first-time viewers per week is perhaps too optimistic. The show is doing very, very well at 4.5 million and if that holds through everything that we know happens during the season, I think that will be an achievement. GOT still is not every premium viewer’s cup of tea and never will be, minus one (im)possible change. If you look at Vikings. you see high production values, good writing and…..an Australian former male underwear model in the lead role. (DH87 ducks for cover.)

    Well , the Nielsen ratings can count me in for GoT. Regrettably , even with the
    underwear model, there wasn’t enough interest for me to continue watching
    the History Channel ‘s Vikings broadcast. The shipbuilder ( Skaarsgard ? )
    was pretty good dialogue to follow though.

  60. WildSeed
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    DH87:
    Arthur,

    Good news, indeed. It was natural that GOT would spawn a basic-cable offspring, which is how I view Vikings, not only because GOT was a ground-breaking show but also because U.S. basic cable channels are worried about the possibility of a la carte options to be offered by cable carriers like DirecTV, Comcast, Time-Warner, etc. Cable distributors are losing viewers by the tens of thousands strictly due to the high cost of the monthly packages they offer, and there has been discussion about offering a budget option that would allow the customer to choose, say, twenty channels for a low monthly fee. More Vikings/medieval fare could affect GOT if enough is offered that HBO viewers who subscribed just for GOT might save their $16 a month and settle for Vikings on basic cable.

    don’t forget Apple TV.

  61. Arthur
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Well , the Nielsen ratings can count me in for GoT. Regrettably , even with the
    underwear model, there wasn’t enough interest for me to continue watching
    the History Channel ‘s Vikings broadcast. The shipbuilder ( Skaarsgard ? )
    was pretty good dialogue to follow though.

    The 1st 3 episodes were very slow and I wasn’t to into it, just watched it because I liked the lead actor/character Ragnar… But after watching episode 4, with huge payoffs and seeds planted for future payoffs I was hooked.

    It is the only commercial TV program I can stand to watch!

    http://www.history.com/shows/vikings/videos/vikings-ep-4-trial?m=512aa8006f3f1&s=All&f=1&free=false

  62. Monica
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    My impression was that AMC has deliberately programmed against GoT. I’ve enjoyed Mad Men, but it seems tame in comparison.

  63. Ryan E
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    tysnow: Matt, I have to agree that though it was awesome to see Olenna and Thoros, and have a few minutes with Arya/Gendry and Jaime/Brienne. The juggling of scenes is becoming excessive, I realize they are attempting to adhere as closely to the books as possible, but I fear for the worse if they continue to introduce the plethora of characters and arcs from future books. We don’t have a 20 episode season, therefore D&D need to make the tough choice concerning which stories from Feast and Dances need to go, bye bye, and of course the subsequent personalities. I don’t want to wait every third episode to see my favorites, and likewise only have one or two brief 3-4 minute scenes every other episode either. Therefore I put forward the idea which I mentioned before to…trash the Ironborn Kingsmoot, keeping Asha, Theon and Balon, scrapping the rest (Dany can get her ships elsewhere). Taking Arya and have JH train her in Oldtown, forget the Braavos arc completely. Delete Quentyn, restructure Tyrion’s Essos adventures and the Dornish arc, keeping the story rooted in Sunspear and avoid the Dornish road trip.…I am sure there are other viable alternatives in restructuring the adaption so we can maintain the primary story, while removing or combining the continuing increase in arcs and characters, mine was just one of these options.

    Your suggestions are spot on, and I think many of them will be followed.

  64. sunspear
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Monica:
    My impression was that AMC has deliberately programmed against GoT.I’ve enjoyed Mad Men, but it seems tame in comparison.

    Stupid of them if they did, since HBO doesn’t care about initial ratings and AMC does.

    WildSeed,

    I’m going to finish out the season, but I agree. The writing on the show seems to be getting worse, and all the villains are bad characters.

  65. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    All GOT needs to top 5 million viewers for the 9 PM premier episode is for 600,000 of the 7 million+ fans who watch the show later in the week to tune in. This is why I feel it is still a possibility this season.

  66. WildSeed
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Arthur:
    WildSeed,

    The 1st 3 episodes were very slow and I wasn’t to into it, just watched it because I liked the lead actor/character Ragnar… But after watching episode 4, with huge payoffs and seeds planted for future payoffs I was hooked.

    It is the only commercial TV program I can stand to watch!

    http://www.history.com/shows/vikings/videos/vikings-ep-4-trial?m=512aa8006f3f1&s=All&f=1&free=false

    Ah, thanks Arthur. I actually watched 2.5 episodes and gave up. It’s being repeated
    soon , but maybe I can just utilize the OnDemand feature for review of episodes.
    Thanks again for your insights, apparently I gave up too soon. I’m a history buff,
    and really had high hopes for the production, I felt cheated. The script did prove
    problematic at times, and the wardrobe a bit too machine made, but I had too
    high expectations.

    I’ll give a it a go again.

  67. DH87
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    sunspear: Stupid of them if they did, since HBO doesn’t care about initial ratings and AMC does.

    I suspect AMC wasn’t worried about GOT at 9, since Mad Men airs at l0 PM (it was only a two-hour season premiere episode). But I very much doubt AMC thought it would have the surprisingly strong basic-cable adversary in the Vikings, whose ratings were over 3.3 million only five episodes in and went toe-to-toe with Mad Men in the l0 PM hour.

    I’d be most interested in the male/female breakdown of the Vikings audience compared to GOT at the end of the season.

  68. DH87
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Apple TV, indeed. The basic-cable channels will have to offer more than endless reality programming to be in viewers’ Top Twenty in distributors’ budget option, if it comes to that. That could be good news for those who have had enough of Storage Wars or Alaska State Troopers.

    Also:

    http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/04/07/vikings-history-hbo-game-of-thrones/

  69. Arthur
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    It’s worth it man episode 4 has as much good action, drama and suspense as most GoT episodes… When Ragnar screams! “Shield-wall” it’s so badass but like you said it’s by far no GoT… You don’t need OnDemand just go to the link I gave. History channel has all the full episodes on their free website in HD.

    For a non-HBO production Vikings is pretty amazing. Underwear model or not the guy who plays Ragnar has a very silent-calm, intelligent yet brutal persona that I really enjoy watching.

    Watch up to episode 4, and if that episode doesn’t give you entertainment and chills at the end then I guess it’s just not your taste.

    I am very content with Sunday nights in Spring… Let all the GoT inspired TV series come to us in tidal waves of epic adventure!

  70. DH87
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Your comment wasn’t directed at me, but I wanted to second your opinion of Travis Fimmel, who is a handsome, charismatic guy doing a very good job playing the farmer, warrior, earl, and historical character Ragnar Lodbrok on Vikings. He has the gilt-edged dialogue of Michael Hirst aiding him in that endeavor, but he’s up to the task and a major reason the show is doing well, IMO.

  71. Samson
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    HBO cares about people who watch it when the episode premieres more than people who watch it days later because it shows that the show is a high priority to the viewers. If all the viewers of the show just record it and watch days later it implies they are not as ravenous and craving of viewers. Think about it, a ravenous fan of the show who needs to watch it day one, buys the blu rays, buys shirts and coffee mugs, tells all their friends about it, is a more valuable viewer than someone who casually watches it days later after going through some other shows.

  72. saluk
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Ned: gs working against it …. 1. Easter Holiday Weekend, 2. Walking Dead Finale, 3. Free HBO Weekend (I have friends that waited until episode 2 before they ordered HBO) … I thought ratings would go UP atleast 100,000. I hate to be that guy that brings it up, the endless piracy debate … But I wonder what ratings would look like if people (in the US) didn’t steal the show? And yes of course it was renewed, I’m aware …. But imagine what GoTs budget would be if they had 6 million initial airing viewers vs. 4 million and change … More Dragons, More Direwolves, More New Characters, More Battles. Please consider buying HBO if you don’t.

    You do realize that the only amount piracy would affect the ratings were nielson family viewers who do not have HBO and choose to pirate the shows they like over purchasing a subscription. Any nielson family who already has access to HBO has no reason whatsoever to pirate, thanks to on demand and HBO go.

    I think it possible, if not plausible, that piracy had zero effect on ratings. Not to mention HBO execs recently saying they think piracy helps, because people who become fans are more likely to buy a subscription or dvds later, and torrents help create fans.

    A ratings boost in episode 2 almost never happens. Premiers and Finales are event tv. There is a kind of enjoyment of being able to watch it at the same time everyone else in the country is. The episodes in between don’t carry that weight.

    Mad Men? Isn’t that the show people watch on streaming services and dvd’s when the seasons finish? I don’t know anyone who watches it during first airing. Doubt it had too much of an affect.

    A drop this insubstantial is GREAT! I’m curious what will happen in episode 3. I didn’t have this problem, but some of the people I watched with felt the pacing was a bit slow. That might have an effect, we’ll see.

  73. Mubashir
    Posted April 12, 2013 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Game of Thrones Clicks a fun android app for Game of thrones fans http://goo.gl/CVSCu


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