Westworld posted respectable second week numbers for HBO, despite competing against the second presidential debate and getting a digital push before the weekend even had a chance to start.
“Chestnut” captured 2.7 million viewers, according to Multichannel News, from two airings Sunday and some 800,000 views on HBO Go and HBO Now. That was down 18 percent from the premiere episode, which earned 3.3 million sets of eyeballs in preliminary estimates last week.
Not only were Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump taking up air space on most of the major networks and cable news channels, Westworld also was up against the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants football game on NBC.
Additional reports later this week could push that number up for “Chestnut,” however. The premiere episode, for example, has now reached 6 million viewers across multiple platforms, according to the premium cable channel.
While viewership numbers are important to HBO, they don’t carry the same weight for the cable channel as they would for broadcast networks or basic cable channels. There, money is made by the number of viewers who watch the commercial breaks, so viewership is important.
Since there are no commercials on HBO, the goal is not just to get people in front of their televisions, but also to create buzz for HBO. Anything that helps bring in new subscribers or retain existing ones is marked as a successful series by HBO.
The current viewership numbers and the buzz around the series, as long as both stay positive, almost assure HBO will order another season of the series, possibly before the end of October.
Based on the 1973 film by Michael Crichton, Westworld stars an ensemble cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden.
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