Westworld's Season 3 Premiere Hit By A Huge Ratings Drop, But That's Not The Whole Story
The Season 3 premiere was down sharply compared to the Season 2 premiere for live TV viewers, but there are more details to consider.
The Season 3 premiere of Westworld on Sunday was a big ratings miss for HBO. Variety reports that viewership for the first episode, "Parce Domine," is significantly down compared to the Season 2 premiere, at least by one metric.
Specifically, 901,000 people watched the Season 3 premiere on live TV, which is down 57 percent compared to the Season 2 premiere (2.1 million viewers on live TV). In fact, 901,000 is the lowest number in Westworld's history for any episode of the show on live TV.
Factoring in all of HBO's platforms, including digital networks like HBO Now, the Westworld Season 3 premiere drew 1.7 million viewers, which means viewership was divided nearly evenly between live TV and digital.
Another significant thing to note here is that the number of viewers for Westworld is likely to grow substantially in the days ahead. Not everyone watches new episodes of TV right away, and this is expected to be the case for Westworld as well.
For comparison, Season 2 averaged 9.2 million viewers per episode across all platforms, compared to the 13.2 million per-episode average of Season 1. As schools close and workers stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic, viewership for Westworld Season 3 could grow beyond the normal curve.
While Westworld Season 3 didn't start off as strong as HBO might have wanted, its first-episode viewership is the biggest so far on HBO, surpassing the premieres of The Outsider and Watchmen by 24 percent and 13 percent, respectively. .
Westworld's Season 3 premiere aired directly against the latest Democratic debate, which might have impacted viewership as people tuned in to hear what the candidates had to say about COVID-19, among many other topics. That debate, which aired on CNN, drew 10.8 million viewers.
For lots more on Westworld Season 3, check out GameSpot's newest breakdown video above wherein Lucy and Tamoor talk about all the key moments from the season premiere.
Disclosure: ViacomCBS is GameSpot's parent company
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