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Ratings Watch: ‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere Gives Rivals Summer Chills, But ‘America’s Got Talent’ Still Wins The Week

After three days of DVR and VOD usage, 'Game of Thrones' sees its adults 18-49 rating jump another 19%.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 Ed Sheeran Maisie WIlliams

“Game of Thrones”

Helen Sloan/HBO

To paraphrase everyone’s favorite “Game of Thrones” star, Ed Sheeran: HBO is on its way to another castle on Nielsen hill.

(Apologies for that.) After three days worth of time-shifted DVR and VOD usage, last Sunday’s Season 7 premiere of “Game of Thrones” jumped to a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49, obliterating everything in its path. That was up 19% from the show’s already strong live+same day number.

What’s more, the rebroadcasts that night of last year’s finale, as well as the premiere (which repeated at 10:05 p.m. ET) also made it into the week’s top 25 adults 18-49 chart.

Earlier in the week, HBO reported that the Season 7 premiere reached a gross audience of 16.1 million viewers (Linear Plays + Same Day DVR Playback + HBOGO/HBO NOW) up 50 percent from last year’s premiere. Per HBO, that performance set a record as the most watched premiere night in HBO’s history for any series.

But, hold the door: NBC’s summer stalwart “America’s Got Talent” is still a powerful force in total viewers, scoring enough viewers to win the week – 15.3 million vs. “Game of Thrones” (at 12.2 million). Both saw healthy 21% gains with time shifting.

America’s pasttime also had a good week, as ESPN’s coverage of the “Home Run Derby” averaged 8.3 million viewers and a 2.7 rating in the demo (putting it in third place). And Fox’s “MLB All-Star Game” averaged 9.4 million viewers and a 2.4 in the demo.

Besides “Game of Thrones,” the week’s other big premiere in the adults 18-49 demo was Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of OC” (1.1 rating). CBS’ “Salvation” made the top 25 total viewers chart in its debut, with 6.2 million viewers. Just bubbling under: FX’s “Strain,” which averaged a 0.9 rating in the demo (which “Salvation” also achieved).

Here are this week’s rankers:

Total viewers ranker, week ending July 16, 2017:

RANK

SHOW & NETWORK

LIVE+3
DAYS
DVR/VOD

WATCHED
LIVE/
SAME
DAY

1

America’s Got Talent NBC

15.29

12.59

2

Game of Thrones HBO

12.20

10.12

3

MLB All-Star Game Fox

 9.38

9.28

4

World of Dance NBC

8.88

7.07

5

Home Run Derby ESPN

8.33

8.18

6

America’s Got Talent (Thursday) NBC

8.14

7.10

7

Big Brother (Wednesday) CBS

7.60

6.46

8

Big Brother (Sunday) CBS

7.42

5.96

9

Big Brother (Thursday) CBS

7.41

6.12

10

The Bachelorette ABC

6.86

5.66 

11

Celebrity Family Feud ABC

6.83

6.22

12

NCIS CBS

6.81

6.55

13

The Wall NBC

6.56

6.05

14

Little Big Shots: Forever Young NBC

6.53

6.08

15

The Big Bang Theory CBS

6.37

6.14

16

American Ninja Warrior NBC

6.25

5.62

17

60 Minutes CBS

6.23

6.02

18

Salvation CBS

6.19

4.90

19

Night Shift NBC

5.75

4.41

20

ESPY Awards ABC

5.55

5.32

21

NCIS: New Orleans CBS

5.48

5.16

22

$100,000 Pyramid ABC

5.02

4.50

23

Dateline Friday NBC

4.99

3.99

24

Steve Harvey’s Funderdome ABC

4.62

4.43

25

Masterchef Fox

4.53

3.50

Total viewers; in millions

Adults 18-49 ranker, week ending July 16, 2017:

RANK

SHOW & NETWORK

LIVE+3
DAYS
DVR/VOD

RATING

WATCHED
LIVE/
SAME
DAY

RATING

1

Game of Thrones HBO 

5.6

4.7

2

America’s Got Talent (Tuesday) NBC

3.2

2.5

3

Home Run Derby ESPN

 2.7

2.6

4

Big Brother (Sunday) CBS

2.5

1.8

5

MLB All-Star Game Fox

Big Brother (Wednesday) CBS

2.4

2.4

2.3

1.9

7

Big Brother (Thursday)  CBS

2.3

1.8

8

World of Dance NBC 

2.2

1.7

9

The Bachelorette ABC 

1.9

1.4

10

Love & Hip Hop Atlanta 6 VH1 

1.7

1.3

11

American Ninja Warrior NBC

1.6

1.4

12

ESPY Awards ABC 

America’s Got Talent (Thursday) NBC

1.5

1.5

1.4

1.3

14

Game of Thrones (S6 Finale Repeat) HBO

Basketball Wives 6 VH1

1.4

1.4

1.4

1.1

16

Masterchef Fox

The Wall NBC

1.3

1.3

1.0

1.2

18

Celebrity Family Feud ABC

Spartan: Team Challenge NBC

Copa Oro 2017 12 Univision

1.2

1.2

1.2

1.1

1.0

1.2

21

Real Housewives of OC Bravo

Game of Thrones (S7 Premiere Repeat) HBO

Power Starz

WWE Raw (8 p.m.) USA

WWE Raw (9 p.m.) USA

WWE Raw (10 p.m.) USA

1.1

1.1

1.1

1.1

1.1

1.1

0.6

1.0

0.7

1.0

1.0

1.0

Adults 18-49; ratings points

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