Confirming its status as a crossover hit, Game Of Thrones debuted its second season to series-best ratings, snaring 3.9 million viewers with Sunday’s première—a 74-percent increase over the show’s very first episode, and outscoring the ratings for last season’s finale (its previous high) by close to a cool million. That huge jump in viewership—which averages out to an even more impressive 6.3 million when you factor in all the encore plays—mirrors the similar growth spurt for True Blood, the HBO series it now rivals in both zeitgeist-y buzz and deft intertwining of blood and breasts. It also confirms that, as many suspected, lots of people spent the past year catching up with the series on DVD and HBO Go (and potentially other, less technically legal means). You can probably expect an official announcement of a third-season renewal any time now—an interval which you can fill by watching Joffrey get slapped for 10 minutes straight again, which never gets old.
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