HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Draws Series-High Ratings Ever In Premium Cable History With Penultimate Episode ‘The Bells’

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The Dragon Queen burned down the ratings, not just King’s Landing. Game of Thrones set another ratings record with its next-to-last episode. got-kingslanding-9The HBO juggernaut gathered its biggest audience ever for a first airing of an episode Sunday, drawing 12.48 million viewers. That tops the previous series high of 12.07 million for the season seven finale in 2017.

The final season, in fact, has delivered four of the five most-watched episodes in Game of Thrones history, in terms of initial tune-in. Episode three, “The Long Night,” and the season premiere also drew the largest audiences in series history when same-night replays and streaming are factored in: 17.8 million and 17.4 million viewers.

 

Streaming and replay numbers for Sunday’s episode “The Bells,” will be added when they become available. So far this season, those figures have increased the opening-night viewership by about 50 percent, which could push Sunday’s installment above 18 million, which would also be a record for the show.

 

The linear ratings for Game of Thrones once again outdrew everything else in the Nielsen-measured TV universe Sunday night. The next most-watched show, ABC’s American Idol (7.89 million viewers), trailed by about 4.6 million people. As a premium channel HBO doesn’t care about demographic ratings so much, but Game of Thrones‘ 5.4 rating among adults 18-49 was more than twice that of the second-highest show, TNT’s Raptors-76ers NBA playoff game (2.5).

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  Helen Sloan/HBO
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