Bend the knee: “Euphoria” is now HBO’s second-most watched show since 2004 behind only “Game of Thrones,” per the pay TV channel.
The Zendaya-led drama hit yet another series high with its Season 2 finale episode Sunday, drawing 6.6 million viewers across HBO and HBO Max. To date, the “Euphoria” Season 2 premiere’s viewership is approaching 19 million viewers in the U.S.
According to HBO, “Euphoria” Season 2 episodes are now averaging 16.3 million viewers, which is the best performance for any season of an HBO series over the past 18 years, other than “Game of Thrones,” which pulled in an average of 46 million viewers across its eighth and final season in 2019. (In 2004, Nielsen switched up the way it tracked HBO’s viewership and the pay TV channel has since introduced multiple streaming products, including HBO Go, HBO Now and HBO Max, complicating the process for comparing average viewership for shows that aired before that year and shows that have debuted since.)
Per HBO, here’s each season’s average for “Game of Thrones” entire run: Season 1 – 9.3 million, Season 2 – 11.6 million, Season 3 – 14.4 million, Season 4 – 19.1 million, Season 5 – 20.2 million, Season 6 – 25.7 million, Season 7- 32.8 million, and Season 8 – 46 million. Those numbers are a combination of viewership across linear, on-demand, the now-sunset HBO Go and HBO Now, and other OTT platforms.
To calculate that viewership, HBO counts its programming until 90 days post-premiere across all platforms. “Euphoria’s” growth will continue to be monitored by the premium cabler until it hits that 90-day window, at which time there will be a more accurate apples-to-apples comparison to “GoT.”
For comparison, “Euphoria” Season 1 averaged 6.6 million viewers across all platforms during its first 90 days.
On Sunday, “Euphoria” was once again the top title on HBO Max in the U.S. for the seventh week in a row, as well as the top series for the week in both Latin America and Europe.
As Variety exclusively reported Feb. 1, “Euphoria’s” per-episode viewership average was already up nearly 100% from its first season after airing just its first four episodes of the second season. The show also hit a new series high when it aired opposite Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13.
“Euphoria” is also now the most-tweeted about show of the decade — so far — in the U.S. with 34 million tweets.
“Euphoria” Season 2 centers on the intertwining lives of high schoolers in the town of East Highland, where 17-year-old Rue (Zendaya) must find hope while balancing the pressures of love, loss and addiction. The finale episode saw many of the season’s biggest conflicts come to a head — more than one in a violent fashion.
The series stars Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Nika King, Eric Dane, Angus Cloud, Jacob Elordi, Algee Smith, Sydney Sweeney, Alexa Demie, Barbie Ferreira, Maude Apatow, Javon Walton, Dominic Fike, Storm Reid and Austin Abrams.
“Euphoria” is created, written, directed and executive produced by Sam Levinson. Executive producers also include Kevin Turen, Ravi Nandan, Drake, Adel “Future” Nur, Zendaya, Will Greenfield, Ashley Levinson, Ron Leshem, Daphna Levin, Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein, Gary Lennon, Mirit Toovi, Tmira Yardeni and Yoram Mokady.
HBO has already renewed “Euphoria” for Season 3.