Game Changing Ratings for Thrones and Dead

Last night’s Game of Thrones season premiere and tomorrow night’s Walking Dead season finale (above) scored record ratings in the US.

If you missed Game of Thrones’ return, SoHo will repeat episode one tomorrow at 6.30am, 11.30am and 4.45pm, and Sunday at 9.30pm.

Sky also is offering a free catch-up screening for all domestic subscribers on iSky or, for My Sky subscribers, Sky on Demand until April 17.

No word yet on how Thrones rated compared to season two’s premiere on SoHo but on HBO it drew 4.4 million viewers, which was up 4% from its previous series high and up 13% on its season-two premiere.

And that was in the face of intense competition from the season finale of The Walking Dead, which airs 10.50 Wednesday on TV2.

On AMC, the zombie drama scored “a whopping 12.4 million total viewers and 8.1 million in the 18-49 demographic, both series bests”.

But some critics were unimpressed with The Killing-style exit.

The Hollywood Reporter called it a “disappointing” finish to “a very adrenaline-fueled, visceral and emotional season … What happened in the finale wasn’t a conclusion nor a cliff-hanger. And that’s not right.”

THR also reported a key character will return for season four, although you may not want to read the announcement ahead of the finale.

Similarly, the trade paper has this preview from Game of Thrones’ showrunners about what to expect as season three unfolds.

Meanwhile, the golden age of cable TV drama looks set to continue with Justified being renewed for a fifth season and its network, FX, spinning off another cable channel, FXX, and developing a raft of promising new dramas 

AMC also is reinforcing its burgeoning reputation for original scripted drama (Mad Men, Breaking Bad) with a new logo and tagline while rival Cinemax (Strike Back, Hunted) is developing a US version of The Straits, an Aussie gangster drama starring Rena Owen.

It came out last year on DVD in Australia and will bow next month on Blu-ray but there are no plans for a NZ release until it’s had a broadcast run — and given ABC hasn’t renewed it for a second season, that’s unlikely.

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