House of the Dragon Breaks UK Viewing Record


House of the Dragon has broken more UK viewing records in the first few weeks. According to Sky, over 4 million people have watched the first episode of the series. That's more than the intial outing of Game of Thrones. Impressively, it would also register as Sky's biggest United States drama series launch and the biggest Sky Atlantic series premiere as well. All encouraging signs for Warner Bros. Discovery as they try to navigate the choppy waters they've occupied since the change in ownership. Interestingly, the YouTube numbers have to come into play here as well. Sky and HBO decided to make the first episode available for free on the streaming site. (Coincidentally, on the same weekend that Amazon's Rings of Power was getting rolling. Adding to speculation about a burgeoning fantasy rivalry between the two brands.) For now, the only question becomes whether House of the Dragon can keep up this break-neck pace.

"The entire HBO team have shepherded what looks to be the next big cultural moment. I had a chance to watch the premiere in Los Angeles with [HBO boss Casey Bloys] and the team and was blown away by the quality of the production, richness of the story, and power of the action," WBD CEO  David Zaslav gushed in a recent staff memo. "It is something we should all be really proud of, and we cannot wait to share it with audiences worldwide. … We look forward to the start of this exciting new adventure, and to thrilling fans with the kind of buzzworthy cultural moments the Targaryen family is sure to deliver."

"We reached nearly 130 million people in the U.S. alone," he wrote. "It has also been exciting to see teams across the company work collaboratively with the HBO team in what has been an unprecedented cross-promotional campaign," Zaslav would add. "And we've done all of this in just a few short months, clearly showing what we can accomplish when our networks, streaming platforms, digital and social channels, all work collectively in support of one shared priority. We can really move the needle and I can't wait to see what we will do on future campaigns when we harness the full reach and unique opportunities we bring to the table."

HBO dropped a synopsis for the fan-favorite: "The reign of House Targaryen begins. House of the Dragon, the prequel to Game of Thrones, is coming to HBO and HBO Max on August 21. Based on George R.R. Martin's "Fire & Blood," the series, which is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, tells the story of House Targaryen. Paddy Considine (HBO's The Third Day and The Outsider), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Steve Toussaint (It's a SinDoctor Who), Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, Fabien Frankel and Rhys Ifans to star. Additional cast members include Milly Alcock, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Emily Carey, Harry Collett, Ryan Corr, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Wil Johnson, John Macmillan, Graham McTavish, Ewan Mitchell, Theo Nate, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson, Phia Saban, Gavin Spokes, and Savannah Steyn."

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