With one episode left in the series, Game of Thrones has achieved a new ratings record for itself. The penultimate episode of Season 8 bested the record which has previously been set by an episode in an earlier season, marking it as the all in most-watched single episode of any series on HBO with 18.4 million viewers on Sunday night.
The previous record was held by the Season 7 finale which aired in 2017, garnering an audience of 12.07 million viewers before replay viewings.
Season 8 of Game of Thrones has boasted four of the series' five most-watched episodes in its nine years on air. Episode 3, titled, "The Long Night" but billed as The Battle of Winterfell and the Season 8 premiere boasted the records for largest audience when factoring in same-night replays. The two episodes respectively hauled in audiences of 17.8 million and 17.4 million viewers with the added viewing numbers.
Episode 8x05 tops those numbers with the replay numbers becoming a factor, accounting for 47% of the total audience haul. The divisive episode sparked countless conversations on social media as the show charges toward its ultimate conclusion. The peaking buzz likely sent viewers who missed the episode live to the DVRs and streaming services to catch up what they missed as the final episode is less than a week away. On average, the replay viewings have helped boost the scores by fifty percent in Season 8.
Demographics don't factor into premium network numbers as their programming revenue is supplemented by subscriptions rather than ads, it's worth noting the episode took in a 5.4 rating in the key 18-49 age range. It is a figure more than double that of the second place finisher on Sunday night.
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Game of Thrones will airs its series finale on Sunday at 9pm ET on HBO.