HBO Renews Game of Thrones For Season 2

It’s Game day over at HBO.

The cabler has renewed its acclaimed medieval soap Game of Thrones for a second season just two days after the show’s first season bowed to modest ratings. 

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“We are delighted by the way David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have brought George R.R. Martin’s amazing book series to the screen, and thrilled by the support of the media and our viewers,” said HBO president Michael Lombardo. “This is the continuation of an exciting creative partnership.”

Sunday’s opener averaged a so-so 2.2 million viewers — or less than half of the 4.8 million that turned out for Boardwalk Empire‘s debut last fall.  But when you factor in the 2 million viewers that caught one of the two encore telecasts on Sunday Game‘s cumulative viewer tally jumps to a much healthier 4.2 million. It’s also worth noting that three years ago True Blood bowed to a deadly 1.44 million viewers only to evolve into a monster hit for HBO.

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Reaction? Did Thrones fall below, meet or exceed your personal ratings projections? And will you tune in for Episode 2?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Housecat says:

    Last night was the first night of Passover. People would have been celebrating just at the time this was on. This may have made a dent in the ratings. We should be able to get a clearer picture of the numbers next week. Just a thought.

    • Jen says:

      Easter is on Sunday so I am worried about the numbers for episode two already, hopefully HBO will realize this and take it into account. I need a season two!

    • Izzing says:

      Yes, last night was the first night of Passover. Game of Thrones aired Sunday. Not sure what you’re talking about.

  2. Keith D. says:

    this article title seems very misleading. first off, you are basing your comparison off one of HBO’s highest rated series openers ever. Next, it was watched by a much larger audience with it’s encore showings. And third, for a network that is only present in approximately 28 million households in the US, 2.2 million for an opener is a pretty decent number (especially when you consider a show on HBO like Mildred Pierce which is averaging under 1 million viewers). Also, add to that 2.2 million another 800,000+ who watched it on Sky Atlantic during it’s premiere in the UK (compared to the less than 500k who watched Boardwalk’s premiere ont he same network), and you’ve got a much better than “so-so” debut!

  3. Luke says:

    As a subscriber platform I’m pretty sure they care way more about total viewers including the encore, and they’ll be very happy with those numbers.

  4. Will says:

    I wasn’t really concerned about the ratings and yes, I will be back for episode 2

  5. DL says:

    I’ll definitely be back for Episode 2. I found the first installment to be absolutely riveting, even with the heavy exposition. I’ve heard the rest of the season has much quicker pace, so I’m already pining for Sunday to come around again.

  6. Pam says:

    I watched it as part of an HBO free preview. Ugh! I do want to watch episode 2 but I will have to wait until it comes out on DVD. (Yes, I know it’s available on-line somewhere but those shareware sites include a whole bunch for spy-, mal- and nasty-ware so I will wait.)

  7. Laurel says:

    Taking into consideration that Thrones is competing with The Killing on AMC AND The Borgias on Showtime it did better than I expected.
    All 3 shows are airing on Sunday night between 9 – 11.
    I like all 3 shows and I’m glad to see all 3 of them doing well in the ratings.

  8. SarahFW says:

    Considering most shows on HBO Sundays tend to bow at 9pm C, and the actual premiere was at 8pm C, that might have been confusing to some long time HBO watchers. I only found out a couple of days prior that it would start at 8pm C, and had I not found this out, I would have watched the second showing at 9pm C. That might account for a lower number on the initial showing.

  9. Michelle says:

    Praise the gods, old and new!!!

  10. John says:

    Parts of the episode were really impressive. They apparently killed off my favorite character at the end. I hope the cute blond has better things happen to her in the future. So many shows today don’t care about keeping likable characters. Like how Justified was ruined for me, and Camelot took a dive last week. I guess I’ll read the book for background, but they’d best give me people I can root for.

    • Jason says:

      Forgive me if this spoils, but no character is safe in Game of Thrones. I decided, after watching The Walking Dead, that I prefer a body count that includes important characters. It raises the stakes and makes for better drama.

      • Anneli says:

        Jason is so right, John. Expect the unexpected, in Game of Thrones. You’ll see your first glimpse of that next week, if the series is true to the book!

    • Martha says:

      You should read the book, it would make this show a lot less suspenseful :)

  11. mgbhighlander says:

    Thank goodness there are channels like HBO and Starz that produce good quality programming such as Game of Thrones and Camelot. To have already given it a second season is wonderful news. Thanks HBO!

  12. Devo K says:

    Since the books (IMO) seem to be fairly PG-13, and many fantasy fans are in the below 18 age group, HBO should perhaps have considered making it PG-13 by not having ‘extreme sex and nudity’ as the IMDb site says it has.

    While I have no problem letting my kids read the books, they will NOT be watching the adaptation because of the sex and nudity.

    • Matt N says:

      The books are not for kids, and are about as far away from PG-13 as you can get. All the sex and violence and language is in the books too.

      • Rhiannon says:

        I strongly disagree about the books being PG-13. While the text medium does lessen the impact of the extreme sex and violence, it’s still very much present. I teach high school, and while it’s by no means uncommon to see a student wandering around with one of the books, the reaction when one of my students hit one of the more explicit scenes while reading during class certainly seems to suggest that at least some of them are in no way ready to tackle that material.

        It is true that the teenagers who are mature enough to handle the books will probably be barred from watching the series. That said, I’m not sure that’s a big enough number to make a significant difference in the ratings.

    • Ser G says:

      The books are a long freaking way from PG-13. They’re not on the same continent as PG-13. It’s possible they’re not even in the same solar system as PG-13. If you have no problem letting your kids read them, I hate to be the one telling you, but you’re exposing them to some things that are a HELLUVA lot more shocking than the occasional female body part and simulated rumpy-pumpy.

      • splittter says:

        Guys, you’re obviously correct, PG-13 is a laughable assessment of the books … but let’s not clue Devo in – his kids will be absolutely gutted if he doesn’t let them read Feast For Crows come July.

  13. Jordan says:

    Yea, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The book are VERY mature. There is graphic details of death, sex, birth and rape. If anything I would let my children watch the series than read the books.

  14. Chelle says:

    Winter is coming.

  15. topoopon says:

    I’ll watch Episode 2, but if it is just as confusing as the premiere, I might drop out. It “looks” good, but the plot is all over the place. Not the way to draw in an audience, in fact it’s a way to shed them.

    • GoT Fan says:

      Just give it a shot. Lots of plotlines and characters that have to be introduced – better to get that over with quickly than draw that out over the entire first season.

  16. SquireEgg says:

    Very happy to see the renewal and interested that it is being described as a “medieval soap”. That characterization is fairly accurate for the how HBO translated the books to the small screen but there is more than just a soap involved. Hopefully that will come out in the next 4-5 episodes.

  17. Kaitlyn says:

    Most of my friends cut cable because of the horrible shows, but decided to get it again for the series. I’d say that’s something. We even had a thrones viewing party. Excited for the coming episodes.

  18. Minkeh says:

    What an awesome show – I’ve never watched anything that has been so close to the books!! It leaves me wanting more after each episode, episode 3 last night was again brilliant.

    That said, there would be a damn sight more viewers here in the UK if SKY hadn’t snaffled all the rights and not share it with Virgin media at a reasonable price!!

  19. rich says:

    The show is terrific,right now there is alot of drama, but later there is lots of action, they are just setting the story up!!!! It,s following the books too!!!! which is not what true blood is doing, they are way out in left field. Games of Thrones books are great could not put they down once I started reading them. the characters are well adapted to the book characters, my favorite is Arya,,and the darf!!!!!I hope the battle seens are authentic looking and lots of gor because war in that era would have been. the Dirwolfs need to be a bit bigger, acording to the books they are half the size of a horse. but a really, really great series. thank you HBO…..

  20. allen says:

    What happened to last sundays eposide 11 it wasn’t on? Was that the end of the season?

    • denise says:

      Got home from vacation on Monday looking forward to my recorded sunday night episode of Game of Thrones but it was not on my DVR….where is that episode. Can I just purchase the Set one of the series????