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HBO Shows Are More Popular Than Ever, Here's The Proof

arya game of thrones season 6

You know how Game of Thrones is one of the biggest shows on TV and most other channels should be extremely jealous of HBO about it? Well, it turns out the fantasy epic is even more popular than we thought, and all of the network's other spring series Veep, Silicon Valley, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Real Time with Bill Maher experienced viewership peaks in their past/current seasons. Someone pour up a goblet of Dornish sour red.

It already seemed like a billion people were watching Game of Thrones' sixth season, which was the series' most expansive batch of episodes yet, and while the show's audience isn't that big, it's pretty enormous nonetheless. Season 6 averaged 25.1 million viewers per episode, when accounting for delayed viewing and the various digital platforms the network offers. Those are obviously spectacular numbers, and they're impressive both for the live viewers HBO brings in, as well as the massive crowd watching via On Demand, HBO Go and HBO Now.

According to the network's figures, the 25.1 million-viewer average is nearly five million more per episode than Season 5's 20.2 million average. And when it comes to Game of Thrones' excellent digital figures, the show's streaming boost was a whopping 91% across other platforms as compared to last year, and it now accounts for 40% of the season's total audience. There's no question it's HBO's most popular show of all time.

Here's how we assume everyone there is behaving.

veep selina

Yes, Selina, Veep certainly has its own reason to celebrate. TV's most consistent comedy saw its own uptick in viewers, averaging 4.7 million viewers per episode versus 4.2 million in Season 4, with 25% of that audience coming from HBO Go, HBO NOW and HBO On Demand. Silicon Valley brought its lewd and crude tech-satire to 6.7 millions per episode in Season 3 as compared to 6.1 million in Season 2, with nearly 40% of the viewers coming from digital platforms.

HBO's unscripted front is also doing extremely well. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is averaging 5.6 million viewers per episode, up from 4.7 million last season, and 22% of that is coming across the network's digital outlets. And with an average of 4.4 million viewers per week, Real Time with Bill Maher is having its most-watched season yet, 13 years in. I can't wait to see how Vice Principals does in the ratings, since everyone in the world should watch that.

So while many other networks are desperate to make ratings happen in any way possible, HBO has at least two more years to bask in the grim and gritty glory of having Game of Thrones standing atop the ratings mountain. Sucks that we'll have to wait longer than usual to see Season 7, though.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.