A sizable audience tuned in to HBO on Sunday to watch the House of the Dragon season finale. Despite a little decline from its early episodes, the Game of Thrones prequel’s first season finale on all platforms drew 9.3 million viewers, the highest opening-night audience for an HBO season or series finale since GOT’s series ended in May 2019.
HBO reports that the show has averaged a whopping 29 million viewers each episode since its Aug. 21 launch, outpacing all bar the final two seasons of Game of Thrones. Throughout its 10-episode season, HotD’s first night, the cross-platform audience has been in the 9 million to 9.5 million level By House of the Dragon’s 1.87 million average for prior episodes, the finale attracted 1.85 million viewers for its initial HBO telecast. Just under 20% of the overall night one viewing was from the first cable channel broadcast; the remaining percentage came through HBO Max streaming and on-air replays.
In a statement, HBO and HBO Max chairman and CEO Casey Bloys stated, “We’re so happy to watch House of the Dragon take fire with Game of Thrones fans across the world, as well as with new viewers who are experiencing the realm of Westeros for the first time.” Congratulations to George, Ryan, Miguel, and the House of the Dragon crew for a fantastic debut season Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) and Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) squared off in Sunday’s climax, setting up the Targaryen Civil War as it is described in author George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood.
The first season of House of the Dragon was co-showrunner by Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik. Condal will manage the program solo for season two after Sapochnik left the show after the season’s production was over. Alan Taylor, a veteran of The Sopranos and Game of Thrones, has joined as an executive producer and will be directing several of the second season’s episodes.
With 15.53 million people, Sunday Night Football on NBC was the most-watched program in primetime, even though this was a season-low for the NFL showcase. The top entertainment program on the broadcast networks in terms of viewers was CBS’ The Equalizer (6.9 million), however, Fox’s post-NFL episode of The Simpsons won non-sports television with a 1.14 rating among adults 18-49.
4.67 million (American League on TBS) and 3.61 million (National League on Fox Sports 1) viewers watched the final games of baseball’s league championship series; these figures were lower than the previous year’s last games, probably in part because they were shown in front of NFL games.