The Big Bang Theory’s finale topped the U.S. TV ratings by leaps and bounds. Reportedly, the back-to-back, two-episode finale of the nerdy comedy’s 12-season run drew 18.5 million live viewers Thursday night and easily won the week.
In contrast, Sunday night’s highly anticipated finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones garnered 13.61 million live viewers. Game of Thrones, however, had a comparable 18.4 million viewers when HBO’s same-night reruns and streaming services are included, making it the most-watched episode of any kind in the history of the cable channel.
Despite mixed fan reaction to the eighth and final Thrones season, it was a ratings winner throughout, competing with and usually beating shows that appear in three times more homes. The viewer numbers also grew as the season progressed, with the season premiere setting a record that was topped by three subsequent episodes.