Game of Thrones was the highest rated scripted show of 2019


Last year, Game of Thrones ended forever, but it went out with a bang. According to Variety, it was the top-rated scripted show of the year on linear TV (meaning this doesn’t include streaming-only shows), with all six of its final episodes landing among the top 50 highest rated telecasts of 2019.

Here’s the full list, and then we’ll get into some explanations:

  1. SUPER BOWL LIII: Patriots vs. Rams (CBS) — 31.23 — 2/3/2019
  2. AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Patriots vs. Chiefs (CBS) — 16.42 — 1/20/2019
  3. NFL PLAYOFFS: Rams vs. Cowboys (Fox) — 10.43 — 1/12/2019
  4. NFL PLAYOFFS: Cowboys vs. Seahawks (Fox) — 8.97 — 1/5/2019
  5. ACADEMY AWARDS (ABC) — 7.89 — 2/24/2019
  6. COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Clemson vs. Alabama (ESPN) — 7.87 — 1/7/2019
  7. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Saints vs. Cowboys (NBC) — 7.86 — 9/29/2019
  8. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Patriots vs. Steelers (NBC) — 7.56 — 9/8/2019
  9. WORLD’S BEST (Post-Super Bowl) (CBS) — 7.30 — 2/3/2019
  10. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Packers vs. Bears (NBC) — 7.15 — 9/5/2019
  11. GAME OF THRONES, “The Long Night” (HBO) — 6.80 — 4/28/2019
  12. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Vikings vs. Cowboys (NBC) — 6.79 — 11/10/2019
  13. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Ravens vs. Patriots (NBC) — 6.78 — 11/3/2019
  14. GAME OF THRONES, “The Bells” (HBO) — 6.76 — 5/12/2019
  15. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Cowboys vs. Eagles (NBC) — 6.71 — 10/20/2019
  16. NBA FINALS GAME 5: Warriors vs. Raptors (ABC) — 6.68 — 6/10/2019
  17. GAME OF THRONES, “The Iron Throne” (HBO) — 6.58 — 5/19/2019
  18. NBA FINALS GAME 6: Raptors vs. Warriors (ABC) — 6.55 — 6/13/2019
  19. GAME OF THRONES, “The Last of the Starks” (HBO) — 6.33 — 5/5/2019
  20. WORLD SERIES GAME 7: Nationals vs. Astros (Fox) — 6.22 — 10/30/2019
  21. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Rams vs. Browns (NBC) — 6.20 — 9/22/2019
  22. GAME OF THRONES, “Winterfell” (HBO) — 6.18 — 4/14/2019
  23. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: 49ers vs. Packers (NBC) — 5.97 — 11/24/2019
  24. GRAMMY AWARDS (CBS) — 5.90 — 2/10/2019
  25. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Falcons vs. Eagles (NBC) — 5.88 — 9/15/2019
  26. NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Eagles vs. Packers (Fox/NFL) — 5.81 — 9/26/2019
  27. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Packers vs. Chiefs (NBC) — 5.78 — 10/27/2019
  28. GAME OF THRONES, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” (HBO) — 5.73 — 4/21/2019
  29. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Colts vs. Chiefs (NBC) — 5.63 — 10/6/2019
  30. NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks vs. 49ers (ESPN) — 5.51 — 11/11/2019
  31. GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS (NBC) — 5.40 — 1/6/2019
  32. NCAA BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Virginia vs. Texas Tech (CBS) — 5.38 — 4/8/2019
  33. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Rams vs. Bears (NBC) — 5.18 — 11/17/2019
  34. NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Patriots vs. Giants (Fox/NFL) — 5.06 — 10/10/2019
  35. THE BIG BANG THEORY, “The Change Constant”/The Stockholm Syndrome” (Series Finale) (CBS) — 5.04 — 5/16/2019
  36. NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Cowboys vs. Giants (ESPN) — 4.93 — 11/4/2019
  37. NBA FINALS GAME 1: Raptors vs. Warriors (ABC) — 4.86 — 5/30/2019
  38. NBA FINALS GAME 2: Warriors vs. Raptors (ABC) —  4.83 — 6/2/2019
  39. NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Packers vs. Lions (ESPN) — 4.79 — 10/14/2019
  40. NBA FINALS GAME 3: Warriors vs. Raptors (ABC) — 4.72 — 6/5/2019
  41. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Steelers vs. Chargers (NBC) — 4.63 — 10/13/2019
  42. NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Browns vs. Steelers (Fox/NFL Network) — 4.56 — 11/14/2019
  43. NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks vs. Rams (Fox/NFL Network) — 4.55 — 10/3/2019
  44. THE MASKED SINGER, “Road to the Finals” (Fox) — 4.50 — 2/27/2019
  45. NBA FINALS GAME 4: Warriors vs. Raptors (ABC) — 4.44 — 6/7/2019
  46. NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs vs. Broncos (Fox/NFL Network) — 4.38 –10/17/2019
  47. NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Browns vs. Jets (ESPN) — 4.36 — 9/16/2019
  48. NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs vs. Chargers (ESPN) — 4.32 — 11/18/2019
  49. NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Browns vs. 49ers (ESPN) — 4.19 –10/7/2019
  50. THE MASKED SINGER, “Mask On Face Off” (Series Premiere) (Fox) — 4.17 — 1/2/2019

Okay, let’s start with a word of explanation, just in case you, like me, have never really wrapped your head around the idea of how TV ratings work. The highest rated Game of Thrones episode of the year was “The Long Night,” which pulled down a 6.80 rating among adults 18-49, which is the main demographic by which ad rates for entertainment programming are set. This basically means that 6.8% of people aged 18-49 watched “The Long Night.”

Wait, so do TV networks just not consider the viewing habits of people 50 and over when setting ad rates? I mean, they buy stuff, too. Whatever, it’s not really part of this discussion. The point is that a whole lotta people watched the final season of Game of Thrones. Hell, the only other episode of a scripted show that even makes it on that list is the finale to The Big Bang Theory, which is ranked below all six episodes of Game of Thrones season 8. The rest is sports, reality TV, and awards shows.

It might be a long while before we get a show that unites people the way Game of Thrones did, but at least networks and streaming services are trying:

Next: 20 new shows that could become the next Game of Thrones

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