HBO's new drama Westworld has been in the works for a long time, and it finally premiered earlier this month. The show has a recipe for success thanks to its all-star cast, wildly creative premise, and big budget to make it all look gorgeous. The question now is of how many people are tuning in to watch. Early ratings for the October 2 series premiere were respectable, if not remarkable. Now, HBO has been able to tally total viewers for the premiere, and the numbers are much more encouraging. Episode 1 of Westworld has reached more than six million viewers so far.
The Live+same day ratings indicated that 3.3 million people caught the Westworld premiere right off the bat. The 3.3 million tally came from views live on TV or streaming via HBO Go or HBO Now. It made for the highest-rated drama series premiere for HBO since True Detective back in 2014, but it fell well short of the latest ratings for Game of Thrones. Given that Westworld reportedly received as large a budget as Game of Thrones, the significantly lower viewership may not bode so well. Still, it should be noted that Game of Thrones started with smaller ratings and has continually improved over the years, too.
Now that ratings other than Live+same day have been calculated, however, there are more reasons to be optimistic about Westworld. 6 million viewers is a massive improvement on the original tally of 3.3 million, even if it does still fall short of the Game of Thrones average. Many more people are watching Westworld than early numbers indicated, which must come as a relief to the Westworld team. According to star James Marsden, the folks behind the scenes are already planning for five or six seasons, and production designer Zack Grobler has revealed that they're hoping to expand beyond the Westworld after Season 1.
Of course, the future of Westworld depends on more than the numbers for the series premiere. Luckily, the early ratings for the second episode don't differ too much from the preliminary ratings for the first episode. Episode 2 attracted 2.7 million viewers on live and streaming platforms, according to Deadline. We'll have to wait and see if the numbers for the second episode experience as major a bump as the first when later viewership can be measured.
HBO actually made a big proactive move for the second episode, which was set to air at the same time as the second debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The first debate between the two attracted a whopping 84 million people. Rather than risk a drop in numbers for Westworld due to the debate, HBO made the second episode available early for subscribers on HBO Go, HBO Now, and HBO's On Demand listings. We can't say how much the early viewing option may have helped Westworld in its second week, but we can safely say that it didn't hurt.
Tune in to HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET to catch episodes of Westworld, and don't forget to check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what else you can watch on the small screen.