The premier episode of Game of Thrones season received a huge viewership worldwide. Going by the estimates of Nielsen, 7.944 million watched the 9 p.m. premier which was telecast on Sunday. The last year’s finale episode received a linear viewership of 8.112 million and the season 5 premier episode received 7.997 million viewers. Thus, this year’s episode has the third largest linear audience till date for the show. First and second in the list are the season 5 finale and season 5 premier episode. Though, this season’s premier episode, ‘Red Woman’ can still set a single telecast series record because of how the streaming service of HBO broke usage records on Sunday night.
Furthermore, if we add the linear viewership for the night’s three HBO airings, to early numbers for streaming in HBO Go and HBO Now, this year’s record has already broken last year’s record. This year’s total will be 10.7 million whereas putting in the same calculations for last year’s premier episode, it comes down to 9.8 million and last year’s finale received 10.3 million views. Thus, in a manner, this year’s episode has already set the records straight.
Since this season is the first season which doesn’t correlate with the books directly, there was even more anticipation and buzz about this season. And even the showrunners called this season their toughest work as yet and the best one as of now, this year’s season premier was bound to receive such a crazy linear viewership. After all this talk, critics also didn’t leave the show alone and the premier episode received sort of mixed reviews with Rotten Tomatoes giving the episode 81% “certified fresh” rating.
Matt Atchity, Editor-in-Chief of Rotten Tomatoes said that, “Most critics say that the season premiere is a solid return to form, although some say that the abundance of storylines and characters has started to make the series unwieldy.”
Wait for the rest, guys.