HBO knew that the season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones would be big, but the numbers coming on on Monday afternoon might even shock the network.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Game of Thrones drew 6.6 million viewers during its initial 9 p.m. broadcast, up from an already impressive (and then record) 4.4 million who watched the season 3 premiere.
It also became the most watched episode of the series by over a million viewers as week six of the third season had attracted 5.5 million viewers. Given all of that, the premiere now ranks as the most watched program in HBO history since the finale of The Sopranos which took place in 2007.
In addition to the initial airing, an additional 1.6 million viewers watched the 11 p.m. airing bringing the nightly total to 8.2 million viewers overall which should allow HBO to post even more record numbers moving forward.
Last year saw Game of Thrones eclipse True Blood as HBO’s biggest series, grossing an average 14.4 million viewers every week thanks to live plays, encores, On Demand and HBO Go views. Speaking of HBO Go, the streaming service crashed for the second time in a month on Sunday night. Interest in Game of Thrones, like the True Detective finale, saw usage surge and temporary crashes on many platforms.
Even more impressive? Game of Thrones stands as one of the most pirated series on television, yet is still able to draw such a massive viewership.
Make sure to check out Winter is Coming Live, Game of Thrones recap show below: