Today, you’re probably seeing a whole flurry of stories regarding the Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2 ratings, and for good reason. If you’re HBO, there is obviously a lot to be proud of in terms of the series’ success. It’s the most-popular show in the history of the network and it is one that could expand outward still leading into the series finale.
Yet, you could easily summarize a lot of these ratings articles with a single sentence: The numbers for Game of Thrones are huge. That’s it. Take a sip of tea and move on … but it’s not that simple. There is value in looking at weekly trends for a show like this, and there are some lessons that other networks can still learn from looking at the performance of a monster like this.
What’s the biggest one? Consider the message at the heart of Field of Dreams — if you build it, they will come. In this case, though, the thing you have to build is an enormously successful TV show that pushes the envelope for what innovative TV can be. Not everyone can do that or have a budget anywhere close to Game of Thrones — it’s easier said than done. But what this series should be doing is throwing a MASSIVE creative gauntlet down to other series, especially network TV. Want to get big ratings? Then stop making sitcoms about a crazy character inserting themselves into a normal family or the same crime drama without any twist. They’re playing to get on first base, and HBO is going for the home run. There are going to be failures, but every now and then you hit one out of the park. Look at This Is Us. Look at the early days of Empire. Look at the social-media success of Scandal. None of them are Game of Thrones, but all of them are worthy of a pat on the back.
What the week-to-week ratings show you is that if you swing hard enough, you can get a streak of big hits going — it’s not just a quick flash in the pan. It was inevitable that the ratings for Game of Thrones would be bigger than episode 2, but there’s nothing to be ashamed about here at all. The premiere ended up drawing almost 11.8 million viewers; meanwhile, episode 2 drew close to 10.3 million. when you factor in repeat airings and streaming data for these episodes, you’re looking at 17.4 million for the premiere versus 15.9 for episode 2. People will still watch your show the night it is on. Don’t just throw your hands in the air and pray that people catch you on Netflix or Hulu a little bit down the road.
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Game of Thrones ratings are an opportunity for its viewers to gawk at just how big the show can be, but it goes far beyond just that; they are also a challenge to other networks to go out there, work with their talent, and try to make something that viewers will actually crave. It’s one thing to have good programming. It’s another altogether to have shows that viewers will obsess completely over.
To read our full review regarding Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3…
Be sure to check out the link here! Also, let us know in the comments what you think about the numbers. (Photo: HBO.)