For HBO shows, The Sopranos is the benchmark. The premium network’s most-watched and most-praised show has held those distinctions for over a decade, but HBO finally has a show worthy of challenging Tony Soprano and company: Game of Thrones.
HBO’s fantasy drama continues to grow in viewership as it nears the end of its fourth season, with the entire country seemingly overwhelmed with Westeros-mania. According to HBO, episodes of the show now have an average gross audience of 18.4 million viewers, just beating out The Sopranos, which touched 18.2 million back in 2002. This is up from an average of 14.4 million viewers.
While The Sopranos didn’t have the benefit of HBO GO to pad its stats, there also wasn’t as much content (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) so readily available to viewers. No matter how you look at it, GoT’s numbers are impressive, and are likely to become even more so.
Catch the next episode of Game of Thrones Season 4 on June 8, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.