Westworld premiere draws record-breaking UK audience
James R | On 14, Oct 2016
The premiere of Westworld broke ratings records last week. The first episode HBO’s sci-fi drama, which aired on Tuesday 4th October, drew a consolidated audience of 1.84 million, the largest ever audience for a brand new series in the history of Sky Atlantic.
458K people tuned in to watch it live, but more than 1.38 million viewers took advantage of catching up on the show flexibly over the following seven days, through their Sky+ recordings or Sky’s on-demand platform. That beats the launches of all other brand new series on the channel, including the first seasons of Game of Thrones (1.45m) and Fortitude (1.74m).
Inspired by Michael Crichton’s original, the 10-part series is set in a hedonistic theme park staffed by artificially intelligent hosts, where human guests can explore their every appetite, no matter how noble or depraved. Created by Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar, The Dark Knight) and Lisa Joy (Pushing Daisies, Burn Notice), the show throbs with questions of philosophy, technology and where you can buy all the cool cowboy hats.
“Already packed with absorbing details, Westworld is shaping up to be an epic sci-fi of glossy surfaces and fascinating hidden depths,” we wrote in our review of the opening chapter.
The show boasts a starry cast to match its epic visuals, including Anthony Hopkins as the park’s founder and creative director Dr Robert Ford. Alongside Hopkins, the series stars Ed Harris (Pollock, Apollo 13) as rogue shooter The Man in Black, Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible II) as madam Maeve Millay, Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen, Mildred Pierce) as Dolores Abernathy and James Marsden (X-Men) as Teddy Flood.
Zai Bennett, Director of Sky Atlantic, says: “With an A-list cast, incredible visual effects and a story-line that gets you immediately hooked, it’s great to see that so many of our customers are enjoying Westworld as much as we are. This HBO series is one of the most talked about shows of the year, and anticipation has never been higher to find out what happens next.”
The viewing figure will increase even further once viewing through the Sky Go app and online streaming service NOW is taken into account. While Sky Go allows Sky customers to stream on the go, NOW is a contract-free service aimed at those who want access to Sky’s exclusive shows, such as Game of Thrones, Arrow, The Flash and The Walking Dead, but without a lengthy contract.
New episodes of Westworld air at 9pm on Tuesdays on Sky Atlantic. For a full review of Episode 1, or for more information on NOW, click here.