Speed Reads

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Game of Thrones premiere gives HBO its best ratings ever

Game of Thrones has just shattered its own ratings record.

HBO on Monday said that 17.4 million viewers watched the show's eighth season premiere on April 14, with this figure combining viewers from multiple airings and platforms, including streaming.

That's the best viewership Game of Thrones has ever received, with the previous record being the season seven finale, which drew 16.9 million viewers in 2017. It's also up from the season seven premiere, which scored 16.1 million viewers. HBO does note that slightly fewer people tuned into the 9:00 p.m. broadcast itself than did for the season seven finale, but the network chalked this up to its ongoing dispute with Dish. HBO Now viewership of the episode jumped 50 percent, though.

The season 8 premiere is now HBO's biggest telecast ever, Entertainment Weekly notes, as well as the most-watched scripted show of the year, surpassing an episode of The Big Bang Theory that drew 14.1 million viewers.

And this was all just for a season premiere. Expect the show's highly-anticipated series finale, which is set to be a massive television event that will air on May 19, to soar even higher.