Game of Thrones Beats Sopranos Ratings | The Mary Sue
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Move Over, Sopranos: Game of Thrones is HBO’s Most-Watched Series To Date

It is known

Long may it reign.

On Thursday, HBO confirmed that Game of Thrones has overtaken The Sopranos as its most-watched series. While the numbers are interesting from a pop culture standpoint, there is one glaring omission. Nowhere in these statistics is there a breakdown of who the most favored contender for the Iron Throne is. C’mon, people, ask the right questions!

This season, Game of Thrones has been averaging 18.4 million viewers per episode, thus surpassing The Sopranos’ all-time high of 18.2 million. Now, keep in mind, that’s not 18.4 million people watching right as each episode premieres. That number includes people watching HBO Go, DVR recordings, and repeat airings. It’s not an exact system of measurement, and there’s a lot that’s wibbly and weird about it (there’s a good breakdown on that front at HitFix, if you’re interested). And of course, none of this includes the massive number of folks watching pirated episodes every week. They, too, have been setting records. But still, this is how media companies measure these things, and going by that system, Game of Thrones has taken the crown.

The current season’s ratings show a significant increase over GoT’s third season, which drew in an average of 14.4 million viewers per episode. Aside from people watching because the series is good, Entertainment Weekly notes that the use of DVRs and streaming video has undoubtedly helped to bring in more viewers. The more options you provide, the more people will watch. The show’s become so popular, in fact, that there’s a crazy fledgling idea floating around out there — put Game of Thrones in movie theaters every week. It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see that happen, but it’s a neat thing to think about. On the one hand, it could be an awesome experience. Just imagine watching the Battle of the Blackwater or last week’s trial by combat on the big screen, with fellow fans shouting and cheering and sobbing around you (misery loves company, right?). On the other…remember the jerks who drove around with Harry Potter spoilers painted on their cars? Imagine the chaos that would ensue if someone starting shouting book spoilers at a crowd of people buying theater tickets. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Previously in Game of Thrones

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