Game of Thrones season four is Sky Atlantic’s best performing show ever. With a series average of 2.2 million viewers per episode including catch-up viewing (likely to rise when numbers are in for the final two episodes) it has set a record for the subscription-only channel.
But perhaps even more impressive is how well the fantasy drama stacks up against some established terrestrial competition.
Last night’s season finale recorded it’s biggest overnight audience of 1.21 million viewers between 9pm and 10pm. That left it not too far off the pace of ITV’s The Dentists, with 1.61m, and Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E, with 1.67m, both in the same slot, and drew it neck and neck with Channel 5 reality banker Big Brother, which was watched by an average of 1.29 million from 10pm.
The Game of Thrones finale was peppered with even more high-profile deaths than usual and its open-ended conclusion left fans wanting more.
Showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff have admitted they are feeling the pressure, professing to be “terrified” about doing justice to season five of the drama, which is adapted from the epic series of novels by George RR Martin.