Updated Tuesday, June 5: Game of Thrones set series highs in total viewers with 4.2 million and also a series high with a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating.
Game of Thrones airs its second season finale Sunday night. Time flies, especially when there are only ten episodes in a season!
The premiere telecasts of Game of Thrones season two episodes has been pretty consistent. It premiered to a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating and hit that rating two other times. It hasn't hit or cracked the four million viewer mark in those telecasts, but it's not far off either.
Game of Thrones season two ratings:
|Date||Game of Thrones Season 2 Episode||18-49 Rtg||Viewers (Millions)|
|Sunday, April 01, 2012||The North Remembers||2.0||3.858|
|Sunday, April 08, 2012||The Night Lands||1.9||3.759|
|Sunday, April 15, 2012||What is Dead May Never Die||1.8||3.766|
|Sunday, April 22, 2012||Garden of Bones||1.8||3.654|
|Sunday, April 29, 2012||The Ghost of Harrenhal||1.9||3.903|
|Sunday, May 06, 2012||The Old Gods and the New||2.0||3.879|
|Sunday, May 13, 2012||A Man Without Honor||1.9||3.694|
|Sunday, May 20, 2012||The Prince of Winterfell||2.0||3.864|
|Sunday, May 27, 2012||Blackwater||1.6||3.384|
|Sunday, June 03, 2012||Valar Morghulis||2.2||4.202|
Not surprisingly, last week's "Blackwater" episode hit season lows it aired on a holiday weekend. I'd expect a rebound in the season finale, but will it set records?
Yes, of course we know that these ratings don't matter to HBO in the way that they matter for broadcast networks and advertising supported cable channels. HBO doesn't sell advertising so it really only cares about happy subscribers and luring more of them. And yes, of course we know that means HBO doesn't really care about how the premiere telecast of a particular episode fared. It cares more about all the aggregate viewing including DVR, encore telecasts and HBO Go.
But don't fool yourself: even for HBO the live plus same day ratings are a very good indicator for how things are going with a show. HBO doesn't need to wait to see all of the aggregate numbers to know that Game of Thrones is much more popular than Girls or Veep but still less popular among its subscribers than True Blood.
The poll is for entertainment purposes only. Besides, we'll see how the first telecast of the season finale by Tuesday. It'll be long after that (if ever) before we see the consolidated numbers including HBO Go.