One show ends, another begins, and both have brought in insane ratings numbers. But this shouldn’t be a shock with The Walking Dead, which made TV history in its season three debut, and Game of Thrones, which was sure to have a huge third season debut.
And indeed, two of the greatest genre shows on TV right now have brought in record viewers, proving that both shows are still going incredibly strong.
According to Collider, The Walking Dead had 12.4 million viewers on its season finale, a huge jump from the Season Two finale, which brought in 9 million viewers. (10.2 million came in for the midseason finale last December.) The Walking Dead also beat out American Idol, The Voice, and Modern Family.
Game of Thrones had 4.4 million people tuning in, a record breaker for the series, and it was up 13% from season two’s premiere, which brought in 3.9 million viewers.
As Collider notes, “The Walking Dead and Games of Thrones are proving that watching TV live is still something viewers want to do. Though DVRs, OnDemand and online viewing have seemingly reduced traditional rating by allowing access long after the live event, there is still something to be said for tuning in to the zeitgeist and wanting to experience what everyone else is."
This is also what we’re seeing with a lot of shows these days, the ratings numbers piling up from people watching it later on DVR. Yet as Collider notes, Dead and Thrones are event shows that people have to tune in to, and they are tuning in in droves.
As the president of AMC told the Hollywood Reporter,
"Two words: Grateful. Dead. It’s a joy that we get to work with such tremendous talent to make The Walking Dead come to life for audiences that continue to engage and grow. In just three seasons, The Walking Dead has become a pop-culture phenomenon, entertaining millions of passionate viewers and obliterating traditional lines between cable and broadcast television."
Of course Game of Thrones hasn’t been doing too shabby either. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Thrones is the third most watched series in the network’s history, and both Game and Walking Dead should only grow in popularity from here on out. As Rolling Stone points out, people are coming back to Thrones because the last season set such a high benchmark, especially with the incredible Blackwater battle, and people can’t wait to see if this season will hit another new level of awesomeness.
As showrunner David Benioff told Stone, "There’s not a one-hour, blow-out-all-the-stops battle, but it’s our best season. It’s a 10-hour movie with beginnings, middles and ends."