Any and all of HBO’s worries about Westworld becoming another Vinyl were quickly laid to rest following its premiere in October, when “The Original” scored 3.3 million viewers after two airings and early streaming availability. But with nine more episodes to go and plenty of time to kill before the cable channel’s juggernaut flagship series Game of Thrones returns, the science-fiction drama’s big early numbers weren’t necessarily a guarantee for further success. Good thing “The Bicameral Mind” helped Westworld finish with a new series highs that should practically guarantee the five seasons mapped out by showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.
Which is great news, too, as the pair will need at least that much time to figure out what’s really going on with Arnold’s maze. According to Deadline, Westworld garnered 2.2 million viewers during Sunday’s first season finale at 9 p.m. — a series high up 7% from the penultimate “The Well-Tempered Clavier.” Throw in additional numbers from HBO Go, HBO Now, personal DVRs and replays, and the final tally comes to 3.6 million — still a series high and still up 5% from last week.
By Deadline’s estimation, Westworld‘s total numbers for the entire first season average out to 12 million viewers across all traditional and streaming platforms. The first season of Game of Thrones, on the other hand, managed 2.52 million viewers across ten episodes in 2011. However, seeing as how HBO Go was still in its infancy then (and HBO Now wouldn’t appear until 2015), the existence of a Barry Bonds-like asterisk next to Westworld‘s new “most-watched first season in HBO’s history” crown is likely.
No matter, for Westworld has already been renewed for a second season — meaning that HBO trusts the show’s phenomenal numbers (and its writers’ grandiose, show-stopping plans). Too bad fans won’t get to see who Dolores shoots next until sometime in 2018.