The Nielsen linear ratings for the series premiere of HBO’s new drama series Westworld are not available yet, but I’ve learned that in its first night, the futuristic epic based on Michael Crichton’s 1973 movie drew 3.3 million total viewers on TV and on the HBO Go/HBO Now streaming platforms.
That is the most watched HBO drama series premiere in the combined metric since the debut of True Detective nearly three years ago, which also averaged 3.3 million multiplatform viewers. (Of the 3.3 million, 2.3 million viewers came from the linear channel.) Westworld more than doubled the Live+Same Day debut of HBO’s high-profile but short-lived rock ‘n’roll drama Vinyl, which opened with 1.4 million total across platforms in February.
The well-reviewed AI drama, written/executive produced by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, also was strong on Twitter, surpassing any recent drama debut on HBO, including True Detective.
HBO’s biggest series — drama or comedy — is megahit fantasy drama Game of Thrones. It launched in 2011 with 2.2 linear viewers for the premieres (that was well before the launches of HBO Go and HBO Now).
Westworld centers on a Western-themed amusement park for the wealthy, who romance and kill life-like androids while the park’s creators monitor the action, tweaking its robotic bugs. But then the robots begin to have a great degree of emotional recall. Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood and Rodrigo Santoro lead a huge ensemble cast.