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Westworld UK launch bigger than Game of Thrones

Scripted-logo-460_2WestworldWestworld’s debut in the UK was bigger than both Game of Thrones and Fortitude.

The new HBO sci-fi drama pulled in a consolidated 1.84 million viewers on its debut in the UK on pay TV channel Sky Atlantic.

This makes it bigger than Game of Thrones’ debut (1.45 million) and previous record holder Fortitude (1.74 million).

Westworld’s numbers comprised 458,000 on launch night (Tuesday, October 4), and more than 1.38 million viewers catching up over the next seven days through Sky+ and on-demand recordings. Sky expects the figure to grow once Sky Go and SVOD service Now TV views are taken into account.

Sky Atlantic is European pay TV provider Sky’s premium content network, which in the UK carries all HBO programming, and that of US premium pay rival Showtime.

The numbers continue the momentum Westworld has been building since its launch in the US on HBO, where it has been critically acclaimed and took two million viewers in live-plus-same-day viewing on premium cable and 3.3 million if HBO Now and HBO Go are included.

True Detective debuted higher in 2014 – 2.33 million – but Westworld’s numbers are way ahead of the much-anticipated Vinyl, which flopped with just 764,000.

Westworld, from J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar) and Lisa Joy (Pushing Daisies), is rumoured to have cost HBO more than US$100 million to produce, with various issues through production pushing up costs and pressure on the programme to deliver.

The drama is based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film. It is set in a world in which rich citizens pay to stay in a hedonistic theme park staffed by artificially-intelligent hosts, who indulge their fantasies.

Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright and James Marsden are among the ensemble cast.

Kilter Films, Bad Robot Productions, Jerry Weintraub Productions and Warner Bros. Television coproduce the show, with Warner holding international sales rights.