‘House of the Dragon’ finale has wings on HBO as ‘Sunday Night Football’ wins the ratings race

Blond royal man and woman in medieval-looking robes standing by a large stone table
Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy in “House of the Dragon.”

Sunday’s first-season finale of “House of the Dragon” averaged 9.3 million viewers across all platforms, the most for an HBO finale since the 2019 series finale of “Game of Thrones,” according to what the cable network and its streaming service HBO Max called a “combination of Nielsen and first-party data.”

The 9 p.m. airing of the “Game of Thrones” prequel on HBO was second among the night’s prime-time cable programs, averaging 1.846 million viewers. Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on TBS finished first, averaging 4.67 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the ratings leader for the night and the week, averaging 15.534 million viewers, a season low. The total audience for the Miami Dolphins’ 16-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers — which includes streaming viewership on Peacock, NBC Sports and NFL digital platforms — was 16.5 million viewers, also the lowest this season. The game included the first scoreless second half in the “Sunday Night Football” package since the 2008 NFL Kickoff game. “Sunday Night Football” has been the top-rated prime-time program each of the seven weeks of the 2022 NFL season.


There were three prime-time non-NFL programs between Oct. 17 and Sunday to average more than 7 million viewers, led by CBS’ “60 Minutes.” The newsmagazine averaged 7.966 million viewers, seventh for the week behind two NFL games, two NFL pregame shows, the nine-minute Fox NFL postgame show “The OT” and 14 minutes of national “bonus coverage” of the Chargers’ 37-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Fox.

“60 Minutes” has been the top-rated non-NFL program all five weeks of the 2022-23 prime-time television season.

The CBS crime drama “FBI” had the biggest audience for entertainment programs for the second consecutive week and third time in the season, averaging 7.106 million viewers, eighth for the week. “Chicago Fire” was the only other non-NFL program to top 7 million viewers, averaging 7.026 million viewers, ninth for the week and first among non-NFL programs on NBC.

CBS police procedural “East New York” was the top-ranked new series for the second time in the four weeks it has aired, averaging 5.291 million viewers, tying the network’s “FBI: Most Wanted” for 25th for the week and 15th among non-sports programs.

NBC averaged 5.14 million viewers to finish first for the seventh consecutive week, coinciding with the start of the NFL season. CBS was second, averaging 4.72 million. Fox was third, 4.02 million for its 16 hours, 43 minutes of prime-time programming. ABC was fourth, averaging 2.95 million.

Fox’s top-rated program was the 14 minutes of national “bonus coverage” of the Chargers-Seahawks game, which averaged 12.806 million viewers, third for the week. Its most popular non-NFL program was Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday, which averaged 5.736 million viewers, most among the night’s prime-time programs and 20th for the week.


The procedural drama “9-1-1” was Fox’s highest-rated non-sports program for the fifth time in its five episodes of the season, averaging 4.966 million viewers, 29th for the week and 19th among non-sports programs.

“America’s Funniest Home Videos” was ABC’s ratings leader for the second consecutive week, averaging 4.037 million viewers to finish 38th for the week and 24th among non-sports programs.

The CW averaged 440,000 viewers. Its biggest draw was the magic competition series “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” which averaged 741,000 viewers, 146th among broadcast programs. The CW aired the only premiere on the five major broadcast networks, competition series “Criss Angel’s Magic With the Stars,” which averaged 366,000 viewers, 213th among broadcast programs.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of two NFL games; two NFL pregame shows; Fox’s 14 minutes of national “bonus coverage” of the Chargers-Seahawks game; Fox’s nine-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT”; “60 Minutes”; seven CBS scripted programs; NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med”; the two episodes of NBC’s singing competition “The Voice”; TBS’ coverage of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series; and Fox’s coverage of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” topped the cable rankings, with the Chargers’ 19-16 overtime victory over the Denver Broncos averaging 12.051 million viewers, fourth overall.

TBS won the cable network race , thanks to three nights of American League Championship Series games, averaging 2.852 million viewers. ESPN was second after three consecutive first-place finishes and six in the previous seven weeks, averaging 2.681 million viewers. Fox News Channel was third, averaging 2.261 million viewers, and MSNBC was fourth, averaging 1.09 million. TNT was the only other cable network to average more than 1 million viewers for its prime-time programming, averaging 1.05 million.


The cable top 20 consisted of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and its 13-minute kickoff show; three American League Championship Series games on TBS; two National League Championship Series games on Fox Sports 1; 10 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows (five broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” four of “Hannity” and one of “The Ingraham Angle”); two NBA games on TNT; and ESPN’s coverage of Saturday’s Alabama-Mississippi State college football game.

“The Watcher” was Netflix’s most-streamed program for the second time in the two weeks it has been available. Viewers spent 148.24 million hours watching the seven episodes of the first season of the Ryan Murphy-produced mystery thriller inspired by a true story during the first full week of its release, according to figures released by the streaming service. Viewership was up 18.6% from the 125.01 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for four days.

“Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” was second for the second consecutive week after finishing first each of the first three weeks it was available with 69.1 million hours watched of the 10-episode limited series, which is also produced by Murphy.

“The School for Good and Evil” was Netflix’s top-rated movie, with 78.83 million hours watched of the fantasy film in its first five days of release. “Luckiest Girl Alive” dropped to third with 19.3 million hours watched. The Mila Kunis-starring drama about a successful young woman who struggles with the lingering trauma of a devastating sexual assault as a teenager finished first for each of the first two weeks it was available.

“The Curse of Bridge Hollow” was second for the second consecutive week, with 25.34 million hours watched in the fantasy comedy’s first full week of release, a 1% increase from the 25.12 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for three days.

The fourth season of the science fiction/horror series “Stranger Things,” with 1.35209 billion hours watched of its nine episodes, is the all-time leader of English-language television programs on Netflix. The first season of South Korean survival drama “Squid Game” is first among non-English language programs with 1.65045 billion hours watched of its nine episodes.


“Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is second all-time among English-language television programs on Netflix and third overall based on viewership over its first 28 days of release, with 856.2 million hours watched.