April 28, 2014

EARLY SUNDAY CABLE RATINGS: Strong Start For “Last Week Tonight”


You know all those people who were so angry about That Thing That Happened on last week’s GAME OF THRONES that they swore up and down the internet they were done with the show forever?  Apparently they didn’t go anywhere, because Game hit yet another ratings record with last night’s episode, scoring 6.9M total viewers (we don’t have 18-49 demo info yet, but Game will tower over everything on network TV last night), a number that becomes 8.4M with the show’s later re-airing.

SILICON VALLEY held just about even from last week with 1.6M viewers at 10PM, but VEEP had an uptick from 775K viewers to 920K, and the reason for that may well have been the addition of LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER at 11PM, which rose from its lead-in to 1.1M viewers (1.4M with its re-airing).  That’s a highly promising number, both in and of itself (not far from a typical Daily Show rating on Comedy Central–a network that’s in triple the number of US homes as HBO) and because the increase after Veep suggested that it could be destination television even for people who aren’t fans of the extremely compatible Veep.  With the opening hype past, Last Week Tonight will probably subside a bit in coming weeks, but there’s no reason to think it won’t hold a substantial part of its audience for the long term.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."