It’s official: Game of Thrones has passed The Sopranos to become the most popular show in HBO’s history.
Currently nearing the end of its fourth season, Thrones has had an average gross audience of 18.4 million viewers per episode. This season’s average surpasses the previous record of 18.2 million viewers per episode set by The Sopranos in 2002. Season three episodes of the fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series had an average gross audience of 14.4 million viewers.
Of course, nowadays a TV show can be watched when it airs; recorded for later DVR viewing; watched on demand or online; or even on your phone or tablet or gaming console. Even the people of 2002 would be awestruck by such things, so the fact that they put up these numbers in the primitive-by-comparison times of 14 years ago tells you just how much of a juggernaut The Sopranos was.
The final two episodes of season four of Game of Thrones air this Sunday, June 8th and next Sunday, June 15th. With at least two more seasons on the horizon, let’s hope the show continues to grow in popularity and break records.