‘House of the Dragon’ Is HBO’s Biggest Premiere Ever, Draws Nearly 10 Million Viewers

Even with HBO Max crashing right out of the gate, House of the Dragon still managed to bring in record-breaking numbers and claim the throne as the “strongest digital premiere performance of any HBO episode.

via: CNN

The highly anticipated “Game of Thrones” prequel — brought in roughly 10 million viewers for its first episode across linear and HBO Max platforms in the US on Sunday night, the network said on Monday.

The debut, titled “The Heirs of the Dragon,” is “the largest audience for any new original series in the history of HBO,” according to the network.

“House of the Dragon” came in behind the record numbers of the original series’ final episodes (“The Iron Throne” — the last episode of the original “Game of Thrones” — brought in a series record 19.3 million viewers in May of 2019, for example), but that’s a victory since “House of the Dragon” looks to rekindle the “Game of Thrones” brand after three years of being away.

The release of “House of the Dragon” is one of the biggest moments of the newly merged Warner Bros. Discovery, which came together in April. The series not only has a lot of attention around it, but there’s also a lot on the line for its corporate parent due to the massive popularity of the original show and the opportunity that brings. (Warner Bros. Discovery is the parent company of CNN.)

As viewers tastes are fracturing and streaming becomes a larger and more vital part of the entertainment landscape, Warner Bros. Discovery is hoping that “House of the Dragon” can catch some of the fire that the original series had, thus bringing big ratings to HBO and big subscriber numbers to HBO Max for those who want to stream it.

The new series is also trying to erase the sour taste left over from the ending of “Game of Thrones,” which concluded with a mostly negative reaction from fans.

“House of the Dragon,” which takes place almost 200 years before “Game of Thrones” and focuses on the family of the Targaryens and its litany of dragons, garnered solid reviews bringing in an 85% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes.

Brian Lowry, CNN’s media critic, said the series “plays a less-addictive game” than its predecessor, however.

“It’s not bad, and there are dragons aplenty, but it doesn’t produce the sort of characters that defined and elevated its predecessor to prestige-TV royalty,” he wrote.

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