ByMark Newton, writer at Creators.co
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

The Walking Dead might still be sitting in the Iron Throne of television ratings, but there is a usurper approaching in the form of HBO's Game of Thrones.

The fourth season of the popular blood-and-boobs series has spiked in ratings, earning an average of 18 million gross weekly viewers. Included in that figure are first-runs on Sunday (which account for 7.2 million), encores, HGO GO and On Demand views.

These figures are pretty massive by HBO standards, and only one other show from the subscription network, The Sopranos, has ever achieved higher ratings - clocking up 18.2 million weekly views in its fourth season. If [Game of Thrones](movie:817617) manages to crack this record, which it is likely to do, it'll become the most watched of any original in network history.

So what's its competition? Well, according to live-plus-7 ratings, there are only three other series averaging above 18 million views on the main commercial network stations - Sunday Night Football, NCIS and the bizarrely successful The Big Bang Theory (averaging 23.1 million viewers). But of course, AMC's [The Walking Dead](series:201193) is still the top dog when it comes to drama programming, although even its lofty heights are within the sights of Game of Thrones. The most recent season of The Walking Dead averaged 18.4 million views a week across its various methods of dispersion. If Game of Thrones can continue its meteoric rise, it might just take control of the Televisual Ratings Crown.

Of course, these numbers do not even factor in the number of people illegally streaming and downloading the shows online. The last we heard, Game of Thrones is pirated twice as much as The Walking Dead and is the most pirated show on television. With this in mind, more people might actually be watching Game of Thrones than The Walking Dead already.

Which is your favorite out of the two?

Poll

Which do you prefer?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter