HBO’s new latenight series “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” premiered to a pretty good 1.5 million viewers on Sunday — a night that saw another ratings record for the premium cabler’s “Game of Thrones.”
“Thrones” averaged 6.9 million viewers for its 9 p.m. telecast, gaining about 300,000 viewers from last week (6.59 million) and about 1.55 million more than its episode on the final Sunday of last year (5.35 million), according to Nielsen. Its previous high had been the 6.635 million for its fourth-season premiere on April 6.
Combined with a second play, “Game of Thrones” had a gross audience of about 8.4 million on Sunday night.
Following “Thrones,” comedy “Silicon Valley” averaged about 1.6 million viewers (in line with last week) and 1.8 million for its two airings on the night.
“Veep,” which benefited from interest in the Oliver program airing behind it, attracted 922,000 viewers at 10:30 p.m., up nearly 20% from last week’s 775,000. Its gross audience was 1.2 million with if you include its late encore.
Capping the night of originals for HBO, “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” outperformed the network’s 11 p.m. time-period average by 51%. The program, hosted by the British comedian, is a talk show that takes a satirical look at news and current events.
A second play lifted the night’s total to about 1.4 million viewers.