Sunday, June 16, 2024

HBO Says “House of the Dragon” Scored 10 Million Viewers Sunday Night, Largest Premiere Ever in Their History


HBO says last night’s premiere of “House of Dragons” was their biggest ever. Just a notch under 10 million people watched on HBO or HBO Max.

A release says:

The premiere of “House of the Dragon” drew 9.986 million viewers across linear and HBO Max platforms in the U.S. Sunday night, the largest audience for any new original series in the history of HBO. The premiere also marked the largest series launch on HBO Max across the U.S., LatAm, and EMEA, driving an unprecedented level of concurrent streams on the platform. Typically, Sunday night viewership for a HBO series will represent just 20%-40% of the show’s total gross audience.  

The series was also a hit on social media, where fans showed up in droves to celebrate the return to Westeros. On premiere day, House of the Dragon was the longest trending topic on Twitter, ranking #1 for 14 hours straight, and trended #1 on Google Trends. 

What does this all mean? The initial response is huge, of course, “Game of Thrones” fans were salivating to see something new. But it was hard to say from the first episode how this is going to play out. To me, “House of Dragons” felt a little like “The Colbys,” spin off of “Dynasty” that just recycled familiar material. There wasn’t a sense of humor at all, just death and gloom. The Lannisters were really missing.

So maybe as the episodes broaden out, things will lighten up. But right now, it also felt like “HOD” burned through a lot of plot right away without much character development. Even the dragons could use a good backstory.

But production wise, “HOD” was top notch. You really felt like you were in Westeros years before they built the strip malls.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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