It’s official: Game of Thrones is the most popular show in HBO’s history
By Hear Me Roar on in News.

Update: It’s official, Game of Thrones has become the most-watched show in HBO’s history. James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly is reporting that after Sunday’s episode the average gross audience is 18.4 million across all platforms.

HBO has recently updated the total viewership number, The Hollywood Reporter … reports. A month ago, an average of 17.8 million people saw each episode across all the different platforms. Today, the number stands at 18 million! Good job, Thrones. The show is thus on a good way to break the absolute record set by The Sopranos. We were under the impression that the record stood at 14.4, but apparently the official number with all the repeats is 18.2 million viewers, set by the fourth of the six seasons of this HBO hit show. Good to know what to aim at!

THR’s article draws some more comparisons. Although they themselves admit that it is next to impossible to fairly and reliably compare HBO numbers to that of other cables (or networks), they note that according to the live-plus-7 metric, GoT is just behind The Walking Dead airing on the free AMC cable channel with 18.4 million viewers, and beating most of the network series as well. Interesting indeed. Update: AMC came out with an official statement setting the gross audience of The Walking Dead to 28 million.

In other news, here are some more detailed numbers for the record-breaking episodes this season. Three of them hold the all-time series high of 7.2 million viewers during the first airing, after the reasonable rounding up to the first decimal. More precisely, though, the numbers stand as follows: episode 405 –  7.155 million, episode 407 – 7.195 million, and episode 408 – 7.166 million.


104 Comments

  1. GeekFurious
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    GOT on HBO: 18 million with a 30 million homes reach.

    WD on AMC: 18.4 million with nearly 100 million homes reach.

  2. harry potter
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious makes a valid point, for once

  3. King Tommen
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Additionally, although there’s no way to quantify this accurately, GoT is still the most pirated show online by a fair margin. So it stands to reason that GoT is watched by far more people (legally + illegally) than The Walking Dead.

  4. Winnie
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Damn, I’m happy for the show-the more successful they are the bigger their budgets for future filming, not to mention having more leeway to do longer episodes if need be.

    Also those numbers don’t even take into account DVD sales and Itunes that really help make it a cash cow.

    Now I’m wondering if/when GOT might eclipse Sopranos and even Walking Dead in the numbers.

  5. Delta1212
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Although you do have to factor in a lot of repeat airings and the availability of HBO Go, as well. It’s still damn impressive, but as the article said, it’s hard to compare HBO to other networks for viewing numbers. They each have advantages and disadvantages that the other lacks, so figuring out how much of a handicap to give and who to give it to isn’t easy.

    On that note, The Sopranos record was set before a change in the way Nielsen calculated ratings, which is going to make that a difficult comparison as well. I believe one of the things that was changed was something along the lines of, previously, combining the viewership numbers across all HBO-owned channels when tallying the total for a certain time block, even if the channel in question was playing Sopranos.

    That may not be entirely accurate as my memory on the subject is a bit hazy, but regardless, the record for The Sopranos was arrived at using a different methodology than the Thrones numbers, so breaking it is going to be largely symbolic. There’s no way to tell when the actual number of eyes on each episode tips in favor of GoT. It’s a bit like comparing a record in miles to a record in kilometers without knowing how to convert between the two.

  6. Delta1212
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Delta1212,

    *wasn’t

    Also, I wouldn’t mind my lack of ability to edit posts on mobile so much if I knew how to switch to desktop, but that button seems to have been removed and I don’t know where there is a replacement or if one even exists.

  7. Valaquen
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Including the pirating figures, there’s no doubt that GoT is simply massive, like a Superbowl win for HBO. There’s also its cultural impact to consider: it’s everywhere.

    Also noticed this:http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/s151/game-of-thrones/news/a575421/game-of-thrones-george-rr-martin-seven-seasons-is-not-enough.html#~oGjFHIoOeViWGq

    GRRM on seven seasons not being enough, loving the Viper duel, and other stuff.

  8. Hear Me Roar
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Delta1212,

    Yes, from what I understand, the change happened after the 4th episode of Sopranos. That way they measured it (counting other HBO channel views even if they were showing something else) necessarily inflates the number. Which means that once 18.2 million is passed, the viewership of GoT will be definitely bigger. Still, the issues of comparison over such large time gaps remain, fewer technical means back then, and a different number of subscribers.

  9. Our Blades Are Sharp
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Lord Ramsay Bolton FtW!!!!!!!!

    More Boltons and we’ll pass Soprano’s too easy

  10. Turncloak
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Our Blades Are Sharp,

    Book Ramsay and Roose are so damn terrifying. But show Ramsay and Roose are so damn fascinating! Maybe I’m just giddy to see those 2 evil bastards on screen lol

  11. GeekFurious
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    harry potter:
    GeekFurious makes a valid point, for once

    And you’ll never grow up. So all is right with the world.

  12. Shock Me
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Game of Thrones is literally the ONLY reason I subscribe to HBO. When it goes my subscription will follow. Unless I learn Dunk and Egg or Wheel of Time is going into production.

    HBO did give me a bonus gift with three seasons of the Newsroom. I’ll miss that Newsroom after this upcoming season ends.

  13. Patchy Face
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Shock Me,

    And you really didn’t watch and appreciate True Detective? So much better than Newsroom.

  14. House Mormont
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    IT: who was it that said Days of Future Past was good? Watched it yesterday and it was amazing! The cast was ridiculously good, and the narrative played out very well

    And Peter Dinklage!

  15. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious:
    GOT on HBO: 18 million with a 30 million homes reach.

    WD on AMC: 18.4 million with nearly 100 million homes reach.

    And GoT has actual compelling characters and an interesting story, compared with the Walking Dead, which has produced a sum total of two compelling characters thus far.

    Also, GRRM in that article about a movie:

    “Ever since I heard that idea I’ve been both excited by it – I think it would be great – and I’ve been sceptical about it because I’ve heard of a number of other shows that were [supposedly going to have movies] like Deadwood, Rome and even The Sopranos, and the only one I’ve actually seen is Sex and the City,” he said.

    Right. And Sex and the City was A) completely unnecessary and B) terrible and C) followed up with one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, ever, ever. The Deadwood movie ain’t happening.

    Honestly, though? With ratings like this, with the following it has now, I think there’s going to be a real pressure to come to a consensus that the show will end up going 8 seasons, not 7. I still think 9 is probably overstuffing it, and D&D will probably be completely exhausted by that time, to say nothing of the actors (though clearly it takes much less of their time than the showrunners).

    But I can truly see 8 seasons becoming a reality.

  16. Delta1212
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    I’m in agreement. I think 7 might be a bit too tight, but I don’t see them going beyond 8. As cool as I think a movie would be, the way to do it right would be to make a 2 hour episode with a 100 million dollar budget, which nobody is going to be willing to produce because releasing a movie that doesn’t even make sense unless you’ve seen the preceding 70 hours of television show that came before it is not a risk anybody is going to be willing to take even if I think it might actually have a reasonable shot at turning a profit just based on the size of the Thrones audience. If they have to spend the first half of the movie unsuccessfully trying to introduce all of the characters and plotlines as if the audience isn’t coming in already fully aware of what’s going on, as is the standard practice for any large budget film, it’s going to absolutely kill its ability to be an effective finale.

    So in light of that, I’m calling 8 seasons and no movie while reserving my right to downgrade that to 7 seasons and no movie if they blow past the books in season 5 to a degree I’m not anticipating. I don’t see 9 seasons happening in any case and anybody who thinks it’s going to stretch to 10+ is kidding themselves.

  17. UnbowdUnbentedUnhodor
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    What are the two compelling character just out of curiosity?

  18. Veltigar
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    harry potter:
    GeekFurious makes a valid point, for once

    Yer a wizard Harry :p

    GreatJon of Slumber: And GoT has actual compelling characters and an interesting story, compared with the Walking Dead, which has produced a sum total of two compelling characters thus far.

    Who are these two compelling characters on tWD you speak off? Did I miss anyone?

    Maverick: Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.
    Air Boss Johnson: Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full. We’re still busy casting Mads Mikkelsen as Euron.

  19. spacechampion
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    So what if D&D are exhausted? Did they think this would have a happy ending?? Work them until they drop dead! 10 seasons and a movie!!

    Seriously though, let them take turns taking a year off and promote Bryan Cogman to take on EP duties. Just give us as many seasons as required to tell the story completely without rushing the end.

    This idea that the audience will only stand 7 or 8 seasons is complete nonsense. It’s an untested industry narrative, just like the Hollywood narrative that audiences don’t want to see more than one woman in a movie, or people other than white male Americans as the main character. It’s nonsense. Fivethirtyeight.com recently proved that movies that pass the Bechdel test do financially better than movies that don’t. So there is substantial evidence Hollywood ideas of what the audience will tolerate is mere urban legend.

    Any executive thinking of clipping the end of their most successful show ever ought to get an axe to the head.

  20. Matt Sinopoli
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Wow is GRRM still trying to convince himself that they aren’t going to trim all the fat from Feast/Dance? I mean they are already on the verge of WOW material for some characters. Unlike a lot of people, I actually love both books, but I can still see that they need to be trimmed down for TV. A whole season where half the cast is traveling/on a boat is not compelling television.

    Also, please stop it with the passive aggressive “snowball effect” shit. The show is making you rich and yet you can’t keep from making these dumb jabs because they killed off some pointless minor characters that can easily be replaced if the need arises. I actually really appreciate GRRM and am thankful for the hours of entertainment he’s given me but it really annoys me when he acts so petty like this.

  21. The Ghost of Karl Tanner
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    Lol you’re a legend mate, those mads casting things of yours entertain the hell outta me

  22. Our Blades Are Sharp
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    I have a feeling next season things will pick up with the Bolton clan especially now that we have our new home at Winterfell.

  23. Lady
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont,

    Singer fixed the #3 mess…put it all right!

  24. Sunfyre
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Holy zeitgeist Batman! I remember in the build up to the first season when ASOIAF fans were legitimately worried that the show would fail. Now it is HBO’s flagship program and is the water-cooler show (bit of a dated term i admit) of this decade so far.

    Now the question is when do HBO and other cable networks develop shows with the same level of quality based on genre material? I want to see an HBO sci-fi epic, something like Dan Simmons’ Hyperion. And where are the ambitious fantasy shows? Will we ever get The Dark Tower?

  25. Tatters
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Sunfyre,

    MaddAddam is coming, presumably.

  26. James Brookes
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    From the linked article:

    Parent company Time Warner most recently put the domestic subscriber count at 43 million, a hair shy of Netflix.

    I don’t exactly remember the most recently announced subscriber count but this seems quite a bit higher than what I recall. That’s a great sign for HBO and GoT which is surely driving a lot of that growth.

  27. Kevin Anthony Carney
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Well deserved.

  28. Sunfyre
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Tatters,

    Ooh, Aronofsky. This could be interesting.

  29. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    UnbowdUnbentedUnhodor,

    Veltigar,

    Herschel, who was just an irritant in the 2nd season and then grew into something fully realized in the third season. Scott Wilson did great work.

    And Morgan, who has been a total of like 4 episodes, mostly season 1, and then the “Clear” episode of Season 3 or so. Lennie James is great, and I’d love to see him take on Areo Hotah.

    That’s it. Those are the 2. I like Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, but that’s just b/c he looks cool shooting people with a crossbow.

  30. The Bastard
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Anybody know the total viewership numbers worldwide?

  31. Maxwell James
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    James Brookes,

    That’s for HBO + Cinemax combined.

  32. Robbet
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    According to Entertainment Weekly (http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/06/05/game-of-thrones-sopranos-ratings/) Game of Thrones has 18.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched show on HBO!

  33. Delta1212
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Robbet,

    That also puts it dead even with Walking Dead.

  34. Grey Ghost
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Pls pls plssss HBO. Stretch it beyond the rumoured 7 seasons. It’d be good for the story and good for business too!

  35. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    AMC just came out and said ‘The Walking Dead’ averaged 28 million total viewers this past season. It’s funny that they even felt the need to do that, considering how many more homes have access to AMC than HBO.

  36. Delta1212
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Ok, the first 5 episodes averaged 17.8 million viewers per episode. In order to hit 18.4 million at episode 8, an average of 19.4 million views would need to be added for each week for the last three episodes.

    If that number holds steady for the last two episodes, we’re looking at a season average of 18.6 million. If the upward trend continues, it’ll be higher than that. The per episode average for season 4 looks like it’s going to end up somewhere between 18.5 and 19 million viewers.

  37. Delta1212
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Delta1212,

    And by week, I’m obviously talking about episode weeks, not Memorial Day.

  38. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Great news! The only problem with this is that the show has gotten popular enough to start attracting backlash. Last year a lot of people who hadn’t watched it yet were finally jumping on the bandwagon. This year the people who haven’t watched it are digging their heels in and acting too cool to get into. That’s OK. We don’t need them.

  39. Delta1212
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    I have yet to see this.

  40. StrokemeMarg
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Sunfyre,

    Most network execs prefer to fund below average cost series, hoping to get an average performing show with acceptable average ratings rather than an expensive series with high quality standards and hope for high ratings. Shows like GoT, MMM, BB, Sopranos are a headache to produce, and take up a lot of precious time these network execs would rather spend on the links, negotiating deals to improve their personal financial standing.
    High Culverhouse, former owner of the Buccaneers, after spending tons of money and effort to get a championship team, only to lose in the NFC title game said he prefer his earlier management practice of funding an average team at below average costs and make an average profit, than all the money, effort and time to build a winning franchise, with higher profits. It took up too much of his time and resources which he could have spent on investing in the market.

  41. Patchy Face
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Walking Dead sucks – especially next to the awesomeness which is GoT…

  42. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    8 seasons please!

    Re: the Boltons. I love the actor playing Roose, but I fail to see what’s so fascinating about Ramsay, who has gotten the bulk of the screen time. He’s a psychopath who wants his daddy to like him. We get it. Now let’s move on to more interesting people in Dorne and on the Iron Islands. I’m dreaming of Victarion and Euron casting every night…

  43. Trilambdas
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Sort of. It’s funny because GoT is really a hipsters kryptonite. It’s got everything they say should be in TV and find it hard to argue against. If you’re a hipster, please forgive me for grouping you and ‘they’.

    Congrats to everyone on the show for this remarkable achievement. Seriously, GoT becoming this successful is like a pipe dream. I’d love to see a follow up to this post with a WiC remembers when we hoped for anything over a 1.0 rating in the early goings!

    In Cogman, Gold, D&D, and GRRM I trust. (I’ve got to find a better way to write that…any suggestions? DDCG & GRRM?… Maybe I’ll work on a banner for this.)

  44. jentario
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    8 seasons is ideal. But if they’ve already written season 5 with 7 in mind there’s no point in changing it. A lot of things have probably been cut and streamlined beyond the point of no return. They’ll probably stick to 7.

  45. arden
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    harry potter,

    Lmao.. there’s a first for everything

  46. jentario
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Valaquen,

    aka “I don’t think seven seasons will allow me to finish the books in time.” And them denial kicks in and movies are brought up. lol, GRRM!

  47. Rygar
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    They are gonna need a lot of pizzas.

  48. davy
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I think 8 seasons is the best way to go.

    Ideally they do the following

    season 5 ados/affc for roughly 75% and 15-20% of twow
    Season 6 last 25% of ados/affc + 60% of twow
    Season 7 20%-25% of twow & roughly 1/3th of ados
    Season 8 : half year later then usual, 16 episodes (I don’t see why they cannot have more episodes in the very last season because there is no extra season to produce) first a season A containing 1/3th of ados and then a season B containing another 1/3th (giving even more time to finish the last parts)

  49. Chaser
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    That’s gotta put the crew in a better position to negotiate a slight increase in the production budget, how’ bout 50% more?

  50. Dutch maester
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Let me just quote D&D from the S4 premiere interview: “There’s NO WAY we can do it in six. We’ll need AT LEAST seven seasons, AT LEAST.”

    So that’s in no way saying we won’t be getting eight, nor is it saying we will. Predicting how many seasons they need is nonsense in the first place. How can we know? After season 5, we don’t know the story! So how can we say “they’ll need at least this or that”? It’s utterly pointless.

    Also, all this talk (by GRRM) about all the changes is getting really tyring. The changes haven’t been that big at all and have had no impact on the overall story he’s been telling.

    Sit back. Relax. Trust D&D. Enjoy the show.

  51. ShadowStalker
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    It is all well and good to say to cut a book at a certain %… but it doesn’t work practically.

    Characters need arcs. Arcs need climaxes. Some books can give a character multiple climaxes (insert joke here)… but other characters are going to have a difficult time… And considering we have no idea how the story is going to unfold in Winds and aDoS..

    D&D have made the decision to go forward at a fast pace… (which I tend to agree with overall)… That decision impacts the how they write and the overall arcs.

    It is going to be 7 Seasons… this just needs to be accepted.

  52. Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    AMC is part of any basic Cable package, right? HBO not so much….so as someone noted with the “group viewing” and the illegal downloads, it will be closer to, if not as many as, WD.

  53. Sunfyre
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    StrokemeMarg,

    I get what you’re saying. But aren’t GOT and Walking Dead game changers in this regard? There is an insatiable demand for serialized genre material on television. If a show is well conceived, well written, with good production values it can reap enormous benefits for the corporations sitting astride the media industry. Look at GoT’s global reach. At the Bluray and DVD sales. The merchandising… Fantasy and science fiction and even horror (American Horror Story) are no longer bad bets. Risk averse executives are probably sitting at conference tables as we speak discussing what will be the “next” Game of Thrones or Walking Dead.

  54. King Stannis
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I don’t want to make this into a popularity contest but I think GoT has beaten TWD by a long shot when you add “group viewing” and “illegally downloads”
    this show has becomed talked about almost in every media including sports on a positive and fun way. Btw I enjoy your videos, I get some good laughs every time.

  55. Delta1212
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I know I say this every time, but Nielsen ratings take group viewing into account. They don’t measure how many TV sets are tuned to a show. Nobody has the capability to do that. They use statistical sampling of the viewing habits of people who voluntarily participate in the ratings system and a good portion of the ratings information is based on these people self-reporting what they watch.

    It is therefore based on the number of people watching. It doesn’t matter what screen they are watching it on or how many other people are watching said screen. Group viewing does not artificially inflate or deflate the Nielsen numbers. You would get the exact same ratings numbers if everyone in a group was watching on their own individual TV set.

  56. Delta1212
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Sunfyre,

    But the business models for HBO (which uses prestige programming to drum up subscriptions) and AMC (which is barely out of the “upstart” phase of establishing its brand as a producer of high-quality dramas) make the calculations a bit different for those two than for a typical network.

    A show that costs $50 million to make and brings in $100 million in advertising revenue turns the same profit as a show that costs $10 million to make and produces $60 million in revenue, but the “better” more expensive show ties up more of the network’s resources for the same outcome.

  57. Jeremy
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    It seems t o me that this show lacks justice. It’s to dark and it seems that the bad always prevails. The last battle for the gimps life was that last straw. I was hoping for some justice finally and I liked the character that lost in the battle. I’m sick and tired of it. It’s like watching the news. Always bad stuff I’m over it. Screw game of thrones.

  58. Tatters
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy,

    You wouldnt say the same when Joffrey died, would you?
    Its weird, just stick out the season. There will be justice.

  59. Tatters
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Well, Roose is just a phsycopath who likes to make people his bitches,
    is he so much better?

  60. Varamyr 4 skins
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I know not a single person on here thinks walking dead is anywhere in thrones league, but I still feel the need to express just how terrible of a show walking dead is.
    It is just downright not believable. There are moments where zombies are crunching through the woods yet the survivors r acting as if they can’t hear them. Other times the writing is so bad and the poor character development. It just gets annoying when walking dead fans act as if its the greatest show ever. Even tho I feel like thrones is I still don’t go out of my way to freak and force that belief down everyone’s throat like many walking dead fans.
    The walking dead is so bad they fired frank darabont. The guy who had everything to do with shawshank redemption a flawless adaption. That alone shows u the poor group of ppl working on walking dead

    If I was on the writers team I’m willin to bet the show would have twice as much depth and character development as well as more believable moments in the story

  61. The Bastard
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    There is so much filler in AFFC & ADWD that I can easily see them getting to TWOW by the end of next season. The climax of ADWD’s story lines is in TWOW. This means they will already be into book 6 by the end of season 5. This will leave them with 20 episodes to do less then 2 books. Very possible.

    I could see them adding on 5 bonus episodes to wrap things up beyond the 7 seasons. I don’t see it going beyond 75 episodes. They need to keep a quick pace with the show or the audiences will get bored. We are like to see at least one important character die per episode during the last 2 seasons.

    It is time GRRM gets his head out of the sand. Winter is Coming and it is about the engulf his books.

  62. Valaquen
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Looking at my Facebook over the last year, I get the impression most folk only continue to watch TWD to complain about it afterwards. Any hype is quickly followed by post-show venting. Some of my friends who watch it are pretty upfront about its quality, or lack of. Some folk even advised me to skip season 2 in its entirety, should I marathon the show.

  63. The Bastard
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr 4 skins:
    I know not a single person on here thinks walking dead is anywhere in thrones league, but I still feel the need to express just how terrible of a show walking dead is.
    It is just downright not believable. There are moments where zombies are crunching through the woods yet the survivors r acting as if they can’t hear them. Other times the writing is so bad and the poor character development. It just gets annoying when walking dead fans act as if its the greatest show ever. Even tho I feel like thrones is I still don’t go out of my way to freak and force that belief down everyone’s throat like many walking dead fans.
    The walking dead is so bad they fired frank darabont. The guy who had everything to do with shawshank redemption a flawless adaption. That alone shows u the poor group of ppl working on walking dead

    If I was on the writers team I’m willin to bet the show would have twice as much depth and character development as well as more believable moments in the story

    The Walking Dead should be a great show. They have fantastic actors on the show. They started with a top tier show runner. And yet the show is a complete mess. I stopped watching it with a few episodes left this past season. I really should have stopped during the 2nd season but I wanted to give the show as much time as possible to come around. It didn’t.

    Have you ever seen an interview with one of the creators, Robert Kirkman? He comes across as a nice guy but not capable of handling the story he created. I think he lucked into it but does not have the level of thinking of a guy like GRRM to take it to the next level.

    The Walking Dead had the potential to be an iconic television show. Instead it is mindless killing after killing with bad plot lines and extremely boring episodes that serve no purpose.

  64. The Bastard
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy:
    It seems t o me that this show lacks justice. It’s to dark and it seems that the bad always prevails. The last battle for the gimps life was that last straw. I was hoping for some justice finally and I liked the character that lost in the battle. I’m sick and tired of it. It’s like watching the news. Always bad stuff I’m over it. Screw game of thrones.

    I have no clue how the series end, but I can guess the “good guys” come out on top.

    And I think it will mean so much more when it happens. First, you won’t know if they will make it because you are so use to good people dying. Second, it makes the viewer appreciate it so much more after seeing everything the character has been through.

  65. Restore The Day
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty concerned now that more and more people will start hate-watching GOT. It was always going to happen if the show went beyond 4 seasons and was a non-niche success, but with runaway numbers like that, it’s going to be painful to go through the next couple years of increasing complaints and ridicule. Even this year, I’m seeing it happening already, when we’re talking about part 2 of A Frelling Storm of Swords.
    Not everybody comes every week for 7-minute monologues about a long-dead dimwitted cousin, or the flaying of more and more poor sods.

  66. The Bastard
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I don’t even care if they cut out a lot of story elements from books 4-7. Just give me a streamlined version of events. I just want to know what happens to the Starks, Baratheons, Targaryans, & Lannisters. Every other house is just subplot to me.

    Iron Islands, Dorne, High Garden, and Esos are not important.

  67. Hath4
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    The Bastard,

    But many of the sub plot houses feed right into the main ones. For instance the boltons are important because they caused the downfall of the Starks. Roose betrayed and killed Robb. Ramsay killed all of the stark household and Burnt Winterfell. for the Starks to reclaim power they will half to defeat them. That’s just one example.

  68. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Restore The Day,

    I’m not seeing any more complaints this season than either of the past two seasons. At this point I’m not worried about how unsullied viewers feel about the show. The show could lose 5 million viewers(won’t happen) and still be successful.

  69. JamesL
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I think HBO skews these numbers. How many of these are just people rewatching an episode.

  70. Sunfyre
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Delta1212,

    Of course, I never said they should focus on $100 million epics. Just that we will probably continue to see more and more serialized genre material on television. My point was about the near complete destruction of the genre bias. GoT and Walking Dead seem to be blazing a new path. In Hollywood successful formulas (or what are perceived to be successful formulas) are tried over and over. For years there was at least one show every fall season purporting to be the “new Lost”. I have a feeling GoTs overwhelming dominance (and Walking Dead’s as well) will keep sending networks in search of more quality genre material to capitalize on. I just want them to get a move on and do it faster.

  71. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    JamesL,

    Why would they do that? They aren’t selling advertisements. It makes total sense that the viewership totals have increased steadily throughout the years. The show is insanely popular. Just look at all of the illegal downloads, which also continue to rise. Nearly 600,000 people have rated it on imdb, which is 200,000 more than ‘The Walking Dead’ and 100,000 more than ‘Breaking Bad’. The 9 pm viewership average is up nearly 2 million viewers per episode this season. I don’t see why it’s so hard for you to believe that total viewership would be up by 4 million.

  72. George
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    HBO adds repeat viewings, DVR+7, HBOGo, etc to make their calculations to the 18.4 Million Viewers. When you use the same metrics that HBO uses for “The Walking Dead”, see the Hollywood Reporter’s updated article below, TWD has 28 Million Viewers which makes it the #1 series of 2013 – 2014 beating every regular non-sports TV show.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-pulls-28-million-709424

    In addition, AMC is not free as it is a cable channel. AMC is not a broadcast network like CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, etc. If you don’t pay for cable, you can’t see AMC.

  73. The Bastard
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Hath4:
    The Bastard,

    But many of the sub plot houses feed right into the main ones. For instance the boltons are important because they caused the downfall of the Starks. Roose betrayed and killed Robb. Ramsay killed all of the stark household and Burnt Winterfell. for the Starks to reclaim power they will half to defeat them. That’s just one example.

    It works for the build up. It doesn’t work for the climax of the show. Do we need a Bolton level character introduced in season 6 unless the plot can’t move forward without him?

    I am sure there are many ways to get to the same main plot points by avoiding minor characters during the last few seasons.

    Even the show logo has the Stark, Baratheon, Targaryan, & Lannister sigils. That is what the show has to continue to be about.

  74. JamesL
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    HBO says that 21% comes from live viewership on Sunday at 9pm and then 25% watch replays. There is no way that many people watch the replays. The highest rated replay is the one after the first airing which gets around 1m, after that the replays never even chart on the top 100 cable charts the rest of the week. This season is averging just under 7m each week for 9pm airing which is about 38% of 18.4 not 21%. I know this show is popular and may be the most popular HBO show of all time but these numbers are bullshit. !8.4 different HBO’s subscribers don’t watch GoT, if they did the live viewership would be closer to the Walking Dead’s but it’s about half that.

  75. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    George,

    AMC = available in 100 million homes

    HBO = available in 30-35 million homes

    AMC is basic cable. An HBO subscription runs about 15-18 bucks per month, on top of a basic cable/satellite package.

  76. Tatters
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    George,

    Yes, but its still just a third of amc subscribers who watch Twd.
    Got has nearly two thirds, on premium cable. Plus online and pirating are just as impottant than live shows. Doesnt matter as much what happens in ratings anymore.

  77. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    JamesL,

    The show is replayed 30 times throughout the week on all of their various channels. The first replay usually draws about 1 million viewers, so the other 29 combined would draw about 3.5 million total to be 25 percent of the 18.4 million number.

  78. JamesL
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I’ve never bought the numbers that HBO gives for total viewership for any of their shows, the jumps from live viewership to total viewership are too big to be believable. No other shows do this do this, why would only HBO programs more than double, sometimes triple their live viewership when factoring in other viewing methods when other channels shows don’t. These are not nielsen based numbers they are HBO’s own internal numbers and they can skew them as they like. The jump for 7m live viewers to 18.4 is way too much. The Walking Dead averages around 18m total viewers and averages about 12-14m live viewers at 9pm compared to GoT’s 7m. People who watch the Walking Dead also have DVRs and on demand yet the ratings only get a modest bump when you factor in these to the total viewership. I realize HBO has HBOGO also but that doesn’t rationalize this massive unrealistic jump from 7m to 18.4m that HBO wants us to believe.

  79. JamesL
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    GoT is averaging just under 7m viewers for the live airing this season, if 18.4m is the total viewership than why does HBO say that only 21% comes from the live 9pm airing. We know that is factually incorrect because we see the nielsen ratings each week for the 9pm live airing. 7m is a much higher percentage of 18.4 than just 21%. This show is a massive hit and may be HBO’s biggest of all time, it certainly is world wide, but these numbers are bullshit.

  80. King Stannis
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    George:
    HBO adds repeat viewings, DVR+7, HBOGo, etc to make their calculations to the 18.4 Million Viewers.When you use the same metrics that HBO uses for “The Walking Dead”, see the Hollywood Reporter’s updated article below, TWD has 28 Million Viewers which makes it the #1 series of 2013 – 2014 beating every regular non-sports TV show.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-pulls-28-million-709424

    In addition, AMC is not free as it is a cable channel.AMC is not a broadcast network like CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, etc.If you don’t pay for cable, you can’t see AMC.

    Majority have AMC because it includes the other 50 channels that come with that package. The package cost money but AMC is free to watch. HBO is a premium channel that cost a bit more for most household which is why is the most pirated.

    At the end of the day Game Of Thrones is far surperior than Walking Dead by miles. Yes I’ve seen the the show, I like the whole Sophia out of the barn, Rick and Shane, The Governor stuff but that show falls flat on its face in terms of many levels.

    Till this day i sometimes drive on an empty road 75MPH and still wonder how in the fuck did Lori crash that car. Worst and dumb group of characters TWD has. Orphan Black has better plot and intriguing characters mostly played by one actress which is sad.

  81. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    JamesL,

    Does AMC re-air TWD 30 times per week? Do they make the shows available On Demand year round? I know a ton of people who watch on HBO GO. HBO gains nothing from lying about the total viewership.

  82. King Stannis
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    JamesL:
    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I’ve never bought the numbers that HBO gives for total viewership for any of their shows, the jumps from live viewership to total viewership are too big to be believable.No other shows do this do this, why would only HBO programs more than double, sometimes triple their live viewership when factoring in other viewing methods when other channels shows don’t. These are not nielsen based numbers they are HBO’s own internal numbers and they can skew them as they like.The jump for 7m live viewers to 18.4 is way too much.The Walking Dead averages around 18m total viewers and averages about 12-14m live viewers at 9pm compared to GoT’s 7m.People who watch the Walking Dead also have DVRs and on demand yet the ratings only get a modest bump when you factor in these to the total viewership.I realize HBO has HBOGO also but that doesn’t rationalize this massive unrealistic jump from 7m to 18.4m that HBO wants us to believe.

    You forget group viewership. I always watch it live at my friends house with his cousins and my girlfriend. Although I have HBO at my house I randomly watch it alone when it first airs . I watched “Oathbreaker” live this season alone. I missed “Laws of Gods and Men” live because I was at my moms house for Mother’s Day.

  83. Varamyr 4 skins
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    The Bastard,

    Honestly you put it perfect. It’s sad I still watch only because as you said it should be a good show although its absolutely a mess. The first season was good with darabont I have not a clue why they fire him season 2 and on just got worse and worse

  84. T
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Who cares if The Walking Dead has more viewers? Both shows are outstanding. Sophiaaaaaaaaaa

  85. Wais
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    I support all the people who say that the show should deviate from the last two novels and become its own alternate ASOIF reality. I’m completely convinced that GRRM is not going to finish the next book before season 6, let D&D kill the Mareenese knot before it rears its ugly head and write their own story.

  86. GRRMlin
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Too bad the ratings will fall after this… Considering the 5th season (books 4 and 5) will be dreadfully boring.

  87. jentario
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    Dutch maester,

    That to me means that they are planning an extended and split final season like Breaking Bad. They seem to say their plan is seven seasons but seven normal seasons aren’t enough… I think Sopranos did that too, right? It would work…

  88. jentario
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    GRRMlin,

    Shoving into one season, cutting the boring parts and adding some TWOW climax means this could be the best season yet.

  89. King Stannis
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    GRRMlin:
    Too bad the ratings will fall after this… Considering the 5th season (books 4 and 5) will be dreadfully boring.

    Not unless D&D and crew turn it into a great 1 hour TV show which I trust they will do.

  90. Isabelle
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    That’s really incredible!! I remember wishing and hoping that people would watch the first episode so it wouldn’t be cancelled and we’d get the entire story made, and now look at them. No fears anymore about premature cancellation, that’s for sure! Send D&D a nice holiday bonus pronto!

  91. NomadicDirewolf
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Wow, great news, this show is really going strong, its great to see!

  92. King Stannis
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    T:
    Who cares if The Walking Dead has more viewers? Both shows are outstanding. Sophiaaaaaaaaaa

    Let’s be honest now. GoT is outstanding. TWD is fairly good, bad is arguably. Ive seen all seasons just to throw it out there I’m not trolling. I like Rick Grimes and the show can have a great moment once in a while but talk about terrible writting and boring characters.

  93. davy
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The walking dead just had one interesting character and that is Herschel. Game of thrones has many more. I watched all seasons of TWD but must say it has gotten repetitive and I am just watching a few more episodes before I decide to continue or not. Game of thrones certainly has a much better story.

  94. jentario
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    davy,

    Yep. TWD just isn’t all that interesting. It’s like taking GOT and only doing Arya’s story. The premise is cool but it’s getting stale as fuck. The characters are alright but usually one-dimensional, the writing can be really bad. The worst thing about that show is that it’s trying to pull a story that can be done in ten or less episodes into, what, thirteen? We’re left with way too much filler “another day at the farm” material which is boring. Repetitive is the best way to describe this show.

    Luckily GoT isn’t repetitive. Each season takes the story in different directions and introduces new elements. Also, it’s much more than just survival as I said. We have our Arya storyline (which is great) but we also have political intrigue, family, betrayal, a medieval setting, choices and consequences, comedy and to top it all off a bit of fantasy.

  95. Delta1212
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    King Stannis,

    Once again, and I feel like a broken record, Nielsen has no idea how many TVs are actually tuned to a particular show. Whether you watch at home or a friend’s house makes zero difference. None.

    They use a statistical sampling method where they record the viewing habits of people who are aware they’re having their TV watching tracked and who actively participate by answering questions and keeping a journal about their television consumption. These people get counted no matter whose TV they watch on, and Nielsen extrapolates the total ratings from there.

    Nielsen’s numbers are total viewers, not total TVs, and groups watching together or separately has absolutely no effect on those numbers.

  96. Oh_Man
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    Yeah, but The Walking Dead is also pirated. Don’t ask how I know this.

  97. Varamyr 4 skins
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    T,

    That was my point. Walking dead is the furthest thing from an outstanding show. If you think that show is outstanding than you probably know minimal about about plot, character development, and what it takes to make a good show outside of action an killing

  98. Varamyr 4 skins
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    GRRMlin,

    If you think book 5 was boring then I will go and assume you didn’t read it. Dance was easily the second best book of the entire series yet. Or maybe I’m jus the only one who is entertained by major moments when it’s not a battle or trial by combat. You know nothing man- you know nothing

  99. GRRMlin
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr 4 skins,

    Judging by reviews by bookreaders, it seems like most people agree with me.
    I am a book purist, trust me, but you really must be a blind bot if you think Dany, Jon’s and Tyrion’s chapters in Dance were interesting.

    It does sort of depend on your preference though. If you, like me, expected more plot development of the overall story, and the plots of the characters we already know, Dance was a massive disappointment.
    On the other hand, if you enjoyed the side character stories, character development, and liked reading pointless chapters like Quentyn Martell, Dance was probably the best yet!

    But that’s not Martin’s strength, IMO. If I wanted to read 100 pages of description and no plot movement whatsoever, I would read the Wheel of Time.

  100. Delta1212
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    GRRMlin,

    I enjoyed Quentyn’s chapters quite a bit.

  101. Jaqen
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    walking dead seriously ?. its way below average . boring show

  102. loco73
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Congrats! Let’s hope for more good news to come!

  103. GRRMlin
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Delta1212,

    What purpose did he serve in the story?


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