Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” season finale drew the largest audience in the six-season history of the HBO fantasy drama and was last week’s second most-watched prime-time program, trailing only NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
An average of 8.89 million viewers watched the “Game of Thrones” finale, according to live-plus-same-day figures released today by Nielsen. The series’ previous high was 8.11 million for the 2015 season finale.
Live-plus-same-day viewership for the entire season averaged a series- record 7.68 million viewers, topping the previous record of 6.88 million for the 2015 season.
“Game of Thrones” was the most-watched prime-time program between June 20 and Sunday among viewers ages 18 to 49, averaging 5.51 million viewers in the group targeted by ABC, NBC, Fox and many cable networks and coveted by advertisers.
Univision’s Spanish-language coverage of Sunday’s final of soccer’s Copa America Centenario tournament was second, averaging 3.41 million.
The perennial summer ratings champion “America’s Got Talent” was the week’s most-watched program, averaging 11.73 million viewers.
The week’s only other program besides “America’s Got Talent” and “Game of Thrones” to average more than 8 million viewers was Sunday’s premiere of the ABC game show “The $100,000 Pyramid,” which was third for the week, averaging 8.09 million viewers opposite the “Game of Thrones” finale.
The audience was ABC’s largest in the Sunday 9-10 p.m. time slot with regular programming during the summer since Aug. 1, 2004 when a repeat of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” averaged 9.1 million viewers.
ABC’s other game show premiere, “Match Game” won its 10-11 p.m. Sunday time slot and was eighth for the week, averaging 6.64 million viewers, ABC’s largest audience in the time slot with regular programming during the summer since Aug. 20, 2006 when a rerun of “Grey’s Anatomy” averaged 6.8 million viewers.
The week’s only scripted premiere on the four major broadcast networks, the CBS murder mystery “American Gothic” was second in its Wednesday 10-11 p.m. time slot and 53rd for the week, averaging 3.47 million viewers.
The start of the “Big Brother” season helped CBS to its first weekly victory of television’s summer season, as it averaged 4.64 million viewers for its prime-time programming. CBS had nine of the week’s 17 most-watched programs, with the three “Big Brother” episodes ranking 12th, 16th and 17th.
NBC was second, averaging 4.59 million. ABC was third, averaging 4.46 million after winning the previous three weeks thanks to its coverage of the NBA Finals.
Fox averaged 2.16 million viewers to finish fourth among the English- language networks and fifth overall, behind Univision, which averaged 3.02 million.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the third consecutive week, averaging 1.93 million viewers.
The week’s most-watched Spanish-language program was Univision’s coverage of Sunday’s final of the Copa America Centenario soccer tournament, which averaged 6.19 million viewers, 13th for the week. Another 2.53 million viewers watched the English-language coverage on cable’s FS1.
As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 3.02 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.38 million, followed by UniMas, which averaged 400,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 160,000, MundoMax, which averaged 90,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 70,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the fifth time in six weeks, averaging 7.79 million viewers. The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” averaged 7.7 million viewers to finish second, a week after finishing first.
The “CBS Evening News” was third, as it has been throughout Scott Pelley’s more than five years as anchor, averaging 6.42 million viewers.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were the NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”; HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; ABC’s “The $100,000 Pyramid” and “Celebrity Family Feud”; CBS’ “60 Minutes” and “The Big Bang Theory”; ABC’s “The Bachelorette”; ABC’s “Match Game”; CBS’ “NCIS”; and NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior.”
—City News Service