Last night, HBO lifted the veil on Watchmen, finally inviting viewers inside Damon Lindelof’s remix/continuation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel. Because the network spent the last year shrouding the project in secrecy, many of their subscribers were curious to see if it was worth the wait. So it’s no surprise to learn that the series premiere drew big numbers.
According to Variety, 1.5 million people tuned in to watch Watchmen‘s series premiere. This is a fairly respectable number when compared to the debuts of other HBO series of the sci-fi/fantasy shows. Westworld’s pilot drew 1.96 million viewers when it premiered in 2016. However, neither that series nor Watchmen could match the viewership of Game of Thrones’ premiere, which pulled in 2.2 million viewers when it dropped in 2011.
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Of course, both Game of Thrones and Westworld’s ratings dramatically increased over time. Variety also notes that Watchmen’s premiere represented a 30% decrease from Westworld’s season 2 debut. That episode attracted 2.1 million viewers last year. Back in May, Game of Thrones’ series finale became the network’s most-watched program of all time with 13.6 million viewers.
Regardless, HBO insists this was “the strongest debut performance for a series on its digital platforms” since Westworld. The new series averaged 800,000 viewers during its initial airing. This also makes it one of the highest-rated premium cable shows to debut in 2019.
Watchmen is currently sitting at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, with reviewers praising its inventiveness and risk-taking. The show will return for its second go-round next Sunday at 9pm on HBO.
What do you make of these latest viewer numbers for HBO’s Watchmen? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
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