Home Television Rival Networks Brace for “Game of Thrones” Finale: Showtime Gives “Billions” A...

The networks are bracing themselves for the series finale of “Game of Thrones” next Sunday at 9pm.

Tonight, “Thrones” killed off two main characters and a few minor ones. But the two that died show anything can happen in the finale. All eyes will be on HBO in that hour. The ratings should set a record to see who sits on the Iron Throne. (My guess: Arya.)

Showtime, HBO’s chief competitor on cable, has made a smart move. They’re giving their best show, “Billions,” the week off. New episodes will return the next week. “Billions” has been holding its own with around 760,000 viewers each week. With “Thrones” gone, their numbers could increase in their their last three showings.

NBC will offer Ellen Degeneres’s game show to anyone who’s not watching “Thrones.”

CBS has a new series, “The Red Line,” fro 8 to 10pm.  Season 5 of “Madam Secretary” ended a couple of weeks ago. “The Red Line” is filler, basically.  Last week, “Red Line” had just 3.8 million viewers. That’s less than a daily episode of “The Young and the Restless.”

ABC is taking the biggest risk. They’re airing the season finale of “American Idol.” The winner will be revealed. Only, will anyone be watching? “Idol” numbers are already in decline. This won’t help.

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