After an almost 2-year-long break, “Game of Thrones” returned Sunday night to break yet another one of its own ratings records.

According to HBO, 11.8 million viewers tuned in to the show’s on-air broadcast of its season 8 premiere. While that means the series came in slightly below the 12.07 million viewer audience its season 7 finale’s on-air broadcast scored, it’s still well above its season 7 premiere’s initial 10.1 million viewers.

However, the season 8 premiere drew in a total of 17.4 million viewers across multiple platforms Sunday night, including those who watched it during its first-run broadcast, and those viewed it on HBO GO, and HBO NOW. That’s a series high audience for “Game of Thrones,” beating the 16.9 million viewers that its season 7 finale scored on its premiere night. The premiere also grabbed a 5.0 rating in adults 18-49, tying it as the show’s second-highest-rated episode of all time in the demo.

“Game of Thrones” has pulled off an impressive feat throughout its run, by managing to consistently grow its audience with each new season. Based on the premiere’s viewership numbers, it looks likely that the final season of “Game of Thrones” will continue that streak as well.

For reference, the show’s seventh season averaged 10.26 million viewers in its initial airings and 32.8 million with streaming, DVR viewing, on-air replays, and on-demand included. If the show’s final season can manage to top that, then “Game of Thrones” really will be going out on a high.

Most of Sunday’s other cable shows held fairly steady week-to-week, despite the return of “Thrones.” In fact, “Thrones” predictably lifted “Barry” to new series highs with a 0.7 rating and 1.78 million viewers. “Last Week Tonight” and “Veep” both rose to 0.4s as well. Meanwhile, Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” slipped from a 0.9 to a 0.8.

Elsewhere, “Killing Eve” was simulcast on AMC and BBC America once again, and scored two 0.1s with a combined 930,000 viewers across the two networks, down slightly from its season premiere (0.2/0.1, 1.17 million). Showtime’s “Billions” (0.2) and Starz’s “American Gods” (0.1) both stayed even.

Top 25 original cable shows among adults 18-49 for Sunday, April 14, 2019

Show Net Time Total viewers (000s) 18-49 rating
GAME OF THRONES HBO 9:03 PM 11,760 5.0
NBA PLAYOFFS ROUND 1 – JAZZ/ROCKETS TNT 9:38 PM 3,040 1.3
NBA PLAYOFFS ROUND 1 – PISTONS/BUCKS TNT 7:08 PM 2,663 1.0
REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA BRAVO 8:00 PM 2,090 0.8
BARRY HBO 10:01 PM 1,775 0.7
NBA PLAYOFFS ROUND 1 – PACERS/CELTICS TNT 1:08 PM 1,806 0.7
INSIDE THE NBA PLAYOFFS TNT 12:06 AM 1,267 0.5
BUDDY VS DUFF FOOD 9:00 PM 1,857 0.5
NBA PLAYOFFS PRE-GAME TNT 6:30 PM 1,208 0.5
LAST WEEK TONIGHT HBO 11:02 PM 1,335 0.4
SISTER WIVES TELL ALL TLC 8:00 PM 1,683 0.4
NAKED AND AFRAID DISCOVERY 8:00 PM 1,249 0.4
VEEP HBO 10:31 PM 1,002 0.4
NAKED AND AFRAID DISCOVERY 9:01 PM 1,089 0.3
SEEK SISTER WIFE TELL ALL TLC 9:01 PM 1,226 0.3
MLB SUNDAY NIGHT – NEW YORK METS/ATLANTA ESPN 7:33 PM 1,232 0.3
MARRIED TO MEDICINE LA BRAVO 9:00 PM 935 0.3
LIGA MX SUN – AMERICA / CRUZ AZUL UNIVISION 7:00 PM 694 0.3
LAZOR WULF ADULT SWIM 12:00 AM 582 0.3
BAKE YOU RICH FOOD 10:07 PM 878 0.3
NHL QTR FINALS – TAMPA BAY/COLUMBUS NBC SPORTS 7:01 PM 884 0.3
ISLAND LIFE HOME 10:00 PM 1,345 0.3
SPORTSCENTER WEEKEND ESPN 8:00 AM 593 0.3
LAZOR WULF ADULT SWIM 12:15 AM 527 0.3
ISLAND LIFE HOME 10:30 PM 1,340 0.3

Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Alex Welch

Alex Welch has been writing for TV by the Numbers since January 2016. In his off time he enjoys rewatching old episodes of Game of Thrones and unironically singing along to ABBA. Every now and then, he even does them at the same time. He lives in Los Angeles.

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