Game of Thrones, “Burn Notice” Ratings

Reviews were stellar, but ratings for HBO’s launch of the much anticipated series adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels weren’t as sky high (though still not too shabby).

“Game of Thrones” scored a solid 2.2 million viewers for its premiere airing, then a strong 1.2 million for its first encore reports EW. Combined with another 800,000 for the third telecast, the show had a healthy 4.2 million first night viewing.

That’s certainly down on last Fall’s much more visibly promoted debut of “Boardwalk Empire” which had 4.8 million viewers for its premiere airing, then 2.3 million for its first encore. This is HBO though and overnight ratings mean little as overall viewership and key demo ratings are more important to them.

The network’s current top rater, “True Blood”, scored just 1.4 million viewers for its premiere but by its third season has managed to more than triple that number tuning into each episode.

Meanwhile, the Bruce Campbell-dominated “Burn Notice” telemovie prequel “The Fall of Sam Axe” on USA Network scored 3.57 million total viewers on Sunday. That’s pretty good, especially considering it’s premiering out of season for the show and went up against some major competition in that timeslot.

Yet it’s also only slightly stronger than the weakest rated episode of last season and down on the 5+ million viewers who tuned into each episode last Summer – ratings that make it one of cable’s most watched programs.