Tag Archives: HBO

Will House of the Dragon Beat Game of Thrones in Viewership?

As we all return to Westeros for another round, it’s hard not to compare the Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon, with its blood-soaked forerunner. While many have focused on the tangible differences between the type of storytelling and the focus of the two shows, it also pays to give some attention to how well they are doing overall in the market. How does House of the Dragon stack up against Game of Thrones in the viewer numbers? Will it manage to surpass the excellent first series, marred only by a quality decline in later seasons? With the run of the first season only halfway complete and at least one more season to come, it is tough to tell, but let’s look at some of the figures.
What is House of the Dragon?

House of the Dragon is an independent spinoff from the original Game of Thrones fantasy drama TV series. Set in the same world (Westeros) as the A Song of Ice and Fire books (written by George RR Martin) that the original takes place in, it follows the tangled Targaryen family tree and is set about two centuries before the original series.

It has a slightly different action focus, too. While Game of Thrones was packed with blood-soaked battles, gore, and a wide canvas of all the surviving Houses fighting it out for the Iron Throne, House of the Dragon focuses only on the Targaryens and has a lot more of a courtly intrigue feel. Not that the blood, gore, and occasionally incest-y vibes from the original are wholly missing. It’s just a tighter and more nuanced look at the same bloody canvas.
How Was the Pilot Received?

When it comes to the pilot, the message is clear: House of the Dragon outperformed Game of Thrones. Of course, we can argue that that’s only because people already know what to expect and are familiar with the world of Westeros and its eponymous dragons, whereas Game of Thrones had to break new ground as a fantasy series.

However, HBO has reported a global audience of 9.986 million viewers on both HBO Max and its linear TV services for the sequel’s first episode when it went live. Game of Thrones only managed 2.22 million viewers across the same platforms. Interestingly, this makes it the largest series premiere of any in HBO history, too. It also crashed their streaming platform, there were so many simultaneous viewers.

So the message there is clear. Despite the disappointing ending and concerns around the rushed quality of the final few seasons of Game of Thrones, fans and curious newcomers alike are more than willing to give Westeros a second chance.
Subsequent Performance

While it is tough to give further stats on a series only halfway through airing, the rough average viewers per episode for House of the Dragon is believed to be around 29 million across the first five episodes. For a premium cable series, which this still counts as, that’s remarkable indeed.

By the eighth and final (albeit disappointingly received) Game of Thrones season, the show was pulling in an average of 44 million viewers, so House of the Dragon still has a way to go to make those numbers. It could be the different setting, the disappointing reception of that same Season 8 of the original, or just changing streaming tastes that have kept House of the Dragon lagging. Or it could just need time to build up a loyal following. For now, we can’t really know.

Nielsen does report that viewership is increasing steadily, with the latest cited figure being about 5% per episode. As the action heats up and the story gets into full swing, this is likely to improve.
A Boost for Game of Thrones

However, the release of the first few episodes in the new show didn’t just work their magic for it alone. We also saw a profound bump in ratings week-to-week for Game of Thrones on the service, too. In fact, it has improved its overall ratings stance by about 30% so far. Not bad for a show that’s long since wrapped and fallen out of the cultural zeitgeist. It now stands only just short of 600 million viewing minutes.

Surprisingly, this was enough to bump its own prequel further down the Nielsen charts. In the latest Nielsen Top 10, we see House of the Dragon take 6th spot, with Game of Thrones snagging itself 3rd place.

While the Nielsen charts are a little incomplete (they only take the US into consideration, and they don’t show mobile streaming), it’s still a very interesting scenario!
A Surprising Competitor

House of the Dragon has one other hurdle to face that Game of Thrones did not: a powerful non-series competitor. We also have The Rings of Power, based on Tolkein’s world of The Lord of the Rings, to contend with. So far, The Rings of Power is managing to beat out both of the Westeros series, having come on top a few times in Nielsen’s lists. It’s notable that Game of Thrones had no such powerful, high-budget, and well-known fantasy series to compete with on its first release, and this will likely affect how the numbers work out for all three series together.
Will Game of Thrones Stay King?

So, will House of the Dragon manage to out-perform Game of Thrones, or will the original series remain supreme?

It’s really too early to tell, with the much-anticipated time shift and actor change announced for House of the Dragon only just hitting our streams and screens – albeit very dramatically! Game of Thrones has the advantage of a longer planned timeline and all those eager rewatches it’s getting off the back of House of the Dragon, so they may not tie in numbers completely.

However, it’s very clear that House of the Dragon is being well received, and the fanbase viewership numbers are ticking up steadily. With a second season for the show now confirmed too, we may see even more people decided to start watching. For now, we just have to wait and see.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 4/19/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Last week, Epix kicked off the latest series from the award-winning team behind Downtown Abbey. Belgravia opens in Brussels in 1815, on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, as James Trenchard (Philip Glenister, Mad Dogs) and his wife Anna (Tamsin Greig, Episodes) attend what will become a legendary ball hosted by the Duchess of Richmond. James is a merchant trader and Anna the daughter of a schoolmaster, so this party was well above their social status, but it was wartime, and James had earned the nickname of “The Magician” for his ability to locate supplies for the army. The Trenchards had been invited to the party by the Duchess’ nephew, Lord Edmund Bellasis, who was seeing their daughter Sophia. Just as dinner started, the party was abruptly interrupted and the men are called off to the battlefield. While Napoleon was defeated, Edmund didn’t survive the battle.

The show then jumped ahead 26 years. James Trenchard and his family have moved up the social ladder in the post-war era. James got into the building business, partnering with those designing upscale neighborhoods like Belgravia, London. They have become part of the nouveau riche, and Anne has been invited to the Duchess of Bedford’s home for afternoon tea. She first talks with the Duchess of Richmond, and we learn that Sophia died less than a year after that fateful ball. Then Anne runs into Caroline, Countess of Brockenhurst (Harriet Walter, The Crown), whose only son was Edmund, and the two bond over the loss a child. Later, at family dinner, we see that James and Anna’s son Oliver has grown up to become a bit of a disappointing lazy snob thanks to the money his wife brought to their marriage.

As the premiere came to a close, we learned that Edmund and Sophia had secretly gotten married and consummated their union. However, Sophia discovered that the wedding had been a sham as Edmund headed off into battle with his buddy, the “reverend,” and that she later died in childbirth. Later in the evening, Anne raises the idea to James that they should tell Caroline about her grandson, but James isn’t too keen on the idea.

Where have they been hiding this grandson for the past 25 years?! And how will Caroline react to this news – will she welcome him as a son and heir, or will she be upset?

I think folks who enjoyed Downton Abby will also enjoy this series. By the end of last week’s episode, Belgravia felt very similar with its soapy and outrageous twists and turns. It also deals with similar class themes, not only between the titled and the nouveau riche, but also the upstairs/downstairs interactions in this new era, like in last week’s episode, as the Trenchard house staff gossiped about their employers. And there was even the wisecracking, grumpy old Duchess of Richmond, who felt a lot like Downton’s Dowager Countess. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the series.

In tonight’s second episode, Anne tells Caroline a secret that puts the women in opposition; a surprise guest at a lavish party hosted by Caroline forces James to reveal a truth that threatens to tear the Trenchards apart.

Note: If you’re not an EPIX subscriber, for a limited time you can access it for free without a login via the Apple TV app if you have a TV or streaming device that offers this app.

Otherwise, catch it tonight on EPIX at 9/8c.

Tonight, I’ll also be watching/recording Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, The Simpsons, Duncanville, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, Killing Eve, Westworld, and Run.
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If We Controlled Your Remote… 2/9/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Phoebe’s Choice

So there are several HBO seasons that I have been waiting for anxiously. At least two I can think of. But I don’t watch their coming attractions, so I had no idea that Avenue 5 was about to drop last month, so I understand if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s a science fiction comedy that stars Hugh Laurie (I heard he did this show called House?) as Ryan Clark, the captain of the wayward deep space cruise ship called Avenue 5. The ship and the companies which run it are owned by Herman Judd, who lampoons on the ship as a passenger. The expensive space cruise ship was recently struck with a disaster that killed one of its engineers and knocked them off-course, extending their journey by at least six months.

Last week, Captain Clark found himself once again facing the dissatisfaction of Karen, the Domme wife to rollover hubby Frank Kelly. Karen had been gathering complaints from the passengers to blindside Clark with. He invited her to a later private meeting to further discuss those issues, and she agreed. Meanwhile, Judd was putting together his plan to gather 500 shuttles to rescue the people on the Avenue 5 on the 48 hours they should hypothetically, sometime in the future, orbit Earth again. Nad, one of the crew PR guys, tried to work out couples therapy for an unhappy couple who were only there on the free ticket given to them by their friend Rav. Rav was the earthbound coordinator of the company who worked under Judd. Somewhere in there, we learned that back on Earth, Captain Clark was in a polyamorous relationship with both a man and a woman.

In an effort to stave off the threat of mutiny Karen posed, Clark offered her a swanky suite that used to belong to Dead Mary. All she had to do was accept the title and responsibilities of Passenger Liaison Officer. In this meeting, while totally tipsy, he accidentally spilled two secrets to her that his drunk self presumed she knew: A) that he was truly British, not American, & B) that he was a real captain, not an actor planted in the cruise to present a charming demeanor of calm amongst the tourists aboard. The trajectory math that was meant to cut their trip down to six months instead got re-calibrated to 3.5 when they counted in 500 extra passengers who Judd threw on board for profit. On Earth, Rav had a huge breakdown just before she had to face the press about the fiasco that was this cruise. Billie peeled back layers on Cpt. Clark to show him even the crew was not the crew. Karen warped the perceptions of the hostage passengers to usage their concerns, and this show gets legit lit.

On tonight’s episode, “Wait a Minute, Then Who Was That on the Ladder?” with Judd worried about his reputation, Iris arranges a meet-and-greet with several passengers in his luxury suite. Frustrated by a bridge crew with no answers, Ryan and Billie bond with the engineers below deck. Matt encourages Frank to become the man he always wanted to be.

Don’t miss the fun tonight on HBO at 10/9c.

Tonight also brings us the long anticipated macabre return of Kidding, the Jim Carey black comedy
on Showtime.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 10/27/19

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Phoebe’s Choice

Last week, the new HBO show, Watchmen, started off tense and kept the mood up through most of the episode. It began in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921 during the Tulsa Race Riots. That’s a totally real historical event – in response to black people standing up with weapons to stop an African American boy from being lynched, the white people massacred and air bombed the burgeoning, segregated Greenwood neighborhood. That really happened. The show followed one young boy’s escape as many adults around him got slaughtered by white rage. Then we FFWD about 90 years. I got it wrong in my last blog about this show. It’s not 2019 there; it’s about 2008 when we picked things up at a traffic stop in rural Oklahoma outside Tulsa.

The cops all wore yellow masks on their faces to protect their identities and required approval from HQ to access the gun that stayed locked in their center console. When this officer believed he had stopped a member of the rebellious Seventh Kavalry (because he saw a Rorschach mask in the glove), he requested his gun. It took several questions to get the gun authorized however, and then the system glitched, giving the Kav member enough time to get his assault rifle out and riddle the cop’s car and chest with bullets.

Strong open.

Next we met our central protagonist for this series, bakery manager Angela Abar. She used to be a cop in the United State of Vietnam (Because of course…) but was injured in an incident referred to as the White Night. On that night, many cops were attacked by the Seventh Kavalry, who opposed the government and Redfordations, or reparations for victims of the Tulsa Race Riots in 1921. On the ride home from school, Angela and her son had to park while a shower of tiny squid splattered all over the road and car. Despite this front as a baker, Angela was in fact a masked vigilante named Sister Night, whose outfit sorta looks like Captain Marvel meets Sister Act. It looks badder than that descrip, but you know I’m right. #FightMe #YouWont

Once she learned about the shooting, she grabbed a guy that she was certain was a Kavalry soldier. A precinct-wide meeting decided to enact a 24-hour release of all firearms to the cops. After Looking Glass determined that the guy Sister Night nabbed was for sure a 7th Kav member, she brutally beat info out of him. They learned that the recent shooter was holed up in a local cattle ranch. What ensued was a bloody great beef splatter battle set to what could only be described as Knight Rider muzak. The Chief of Police used Night Owl’s flying machine to stop the last escaping criminals but sacrificed the vehicle to do it.

After dinner with the Abar family, the chief was later ambushed on a dark country road. Angela got a threatening call and a location. When she showed up, it was an old black man in a wheelchair. He was the boy who escaped the riots in the opening scene!!! Also though. Sad face. The chief was hanging from the tree, dead as doornails. Outro with: more Knight Rider music.

This show is sick AF, and I can’t wait to see how it pans out. Oh yeah, also in there? Ozymandias is still obsessed with Dr. Manhattan, though John has yet to make an appearance.

On tonight’s episode, “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship,” as Angela relives haunting memories of an attack on her family, she detains a mysterious man (Lou Gossett Jr.) who claims responsibility for Tulsa’s most recent murder. Elsewhere, an original play is performed for an audience of one.

Don’t miss the sick fun tonight on HBO at 9/8c.

I’m also watching Mr. Robot, Get Shorty, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Batwoman, and my Halloween costume: Supergirl.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 10/20/19

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Phoebe’s Choice

Tonight on HBO, an exciting new comic book show debuts, though this rendition of Watchmen is not strictly an adaptation so much as an addition to the existing canon of the award-winning Vertigo comic book story from the 1980s. Most of the original 12-issue limited series was successfully adapted to a film a decade ago, with the few missing parts being available as bonus features on the DVD. Widely regarded as the best comic book tale ever told, that movie version is a tough act to replicate, so they went a different direction with it.

They set this show in the same universe as the film, but instead of the OG setting in the 1980s, they are running this continuity in a modern age of sorts. It is the 2019 of an Earth that lived through the events of The Watchmen, however. It’s a world torn by racial tension and tension between the police and the growing racist hordes who support president Robert Redford, who has sat in office for thirty years. One that sees occasional rainstorm of live squid pouring down. (Swear.) The lead vigilante hero in this arc will be an African American woman who fights crime as Sister Night. Everything I’ve heard about this one sounds trippy, morbidly funny, and apropos of many dismal aspects of our modern history. I’m in for the whole season, however it turns out. My blood-splattered Comedian’s button on my sweatshirt won’t let me miss an episode!

On tonight’s episode, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice,” in an alternate America, where police conceal their identities behind masks to protect themselves from a terrorist organization, Detective Angela Abar (Regina King) investigates the attempted murder of a fellow officer under the guidance of her friend and Chief, Judd Crawford (Don Johnson). Meanwhile, the Lord of a Country Estate (Jeremy Irons) receives an anniversary gift from his loyal servants.

Don’t miss this exciting new show tonight on HBO at 9/8c.

I’ll also be watching Get Shorty, On Becoming a God in Central Florida (which I suspect many of you are still sleeping on), & Bob’s Burgers.
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