After a successful premiere, HBO has officially ordered a second season based on the next book in Martin's fantasy series.
By all accounts, the first episode did everything that it set out to do. Game of Thrones didn't get amazing ratings, with only 2.2 million people watching the first airing. But when you add in the subsequent airings on Sunday night (1.2 million and 800k), you get a solid 4.2 million viewers for a show that's apparently based on "boy-fiction." The solid ratings, and the substantial investment that HBO has already made in producing and promoting the show, have convinced the network to renew Game of Thrones for a second season. The new episodes would likely premiere in 2012, and will be based on the events of Martin's second novel A Clash of Kings.
"We are delighted by the way David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have brought George R.R. Martin's amazing book series to the screen, and thrilled by the support of the media and our viewers," said Michael Lombardo, President of HBO programming. "This is the continuation of an exciting creative partnership."
Anecdotally, I know about fifty people who ordered HBO for the sole purpose of watching Game of Thrones this weekend. I'm not sure how many of that 4.2 million viewers came from new customers, but I'm sure the spike in HBO revenue - at least from The Escapist offices alone - was a pretty convincing argument when considering renewing the show.
In case you missed it, check out our coverage of Game of Thrones including Susan Arendt's recap of the events of the premiere and my thoughts on the adaptation and reactions from my wife and her mother who haven't read the books.
So far, it's been an interesting experience and I'm glad that we'll at least be able to see how Clash of Kings is dramatized. Here's hoping that the show gets to Storm of Swords - what happens in that book is really awesome! They are going to need a lot more extras, that's all I'm saying.