It's been no secret that HBO's new drama Westworld has filled a ratings gap for HBO. Although Game of Thrones has continued to be a hit for the network, newer shows like The Leftovers and Vinyl have failed to make a notable mark, but all that changed when Westworld hit the schedule just a few weeks ago. The show has done pretty sizable ratings, especially in Live+7 day numbers, and HBO has rewarded the series with a Season 2 renewal today. What's a little more surprising is that HBO has also renewed comedies Insecure and Divorce.
While the Westworld renewal is great news, it is actually coming a little late for the production team. Westworld is a giant series and it takes a long time to shoot. Because of this, reports indicate that we won't get the second set of episodes from the sci fi series until either late in 2017 or early in 2018. This is coming because it's too late at this juncture to get production on Season 2 rolling early enough to have the show air during the fall timeslot next year. That's kind-of a bummer, but still a Season 2 renewal is certainly good news, and it means that Westworld is getting the chance to start really digging into that five-year plan that was mentioned some time ago.
Westworld's ratings have been pretty impressive. Reports indicate the show has been averaging 11.7 million total viewers. That's actually better than Game of Thrones was doing early in its run, but as we know, Game of Thrones increased viewership quite a bit over time. It should be noted that those 11.7 million viewers are not just live viewers but viewers across multiple platforms, but for a subscription cable network that airs without commercials, live viewership is far less important.
If you are more into HBO's fall lineup of comedies, there's also good news. Deadline notes that both Insecure and Divorce were renewed after HBO looked at the first six weeks of ratings on the subscription streaming network. Ten episodes of each of the comedies will be produced for Season 2. Insecure in particular has done well with critics, and is currently running at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, although it has a smaller viewership base than either Westworld or Divorce. Divorce has seen more mixed reviews, but is averaging 4.4 million total viewers.
We're pretty pumped for all of the renewals, but especially Westworld, mostly because HBO's drama lineup has been a bit, well, insecure over the past couple of seasons. Following the ending of Boardwalk Empire, the aforementioned Vinyl and The Leftovers weren't huge ratings bringers. True Detective Season 2 did good ratings, but was a failure among critics and audiences in terms of reception. HBO needed a ratings bringer but also a series that would resonate with audiences outside of Game of Thrones, and it seems the network has found it.