HBO had a great run ever since Game of Thrones started in 2011. Ever since the hit series ended in 2019, HBO saw more than 50% of its adult 19-49 linear audience dropped, months after GoT ended.
Linear viewing means watching shows at scheduled times. Linear viewing for HBO saw a major drop in its overall demographics, with around 38% rating drop. Other networks in the US like Starz which airs programs like Power hit a decline of 16% and Showtime which airs Homeland hit a 19% drop in its ratings.
Variety reported that it was not entirely bad news for linear viewing. Cable networks including Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS were high up on the list due to the big stories in 2020. These stories include the coronavirus pandemic and the US presidential election. Fox News had a 43% increase in its viewership ratings.
The 50 top-rated networks of 2020 by adults within the 18-49 age range reveals that HBO suffered a 52 percent drop in ratings ever since GoT concluded in 2019. Meanwhile, TLC's 90 Day Fiancé was responsible for the cable network's most-watched year with a 16% increased.
HBO can recover in 2021. Aside from the other content for the network, a Game of Thrones prequel is currently in production. Previously, British actress Naomi Watts was cast for a GoT prequel series, which was supposed to be set before the events in Game of Thrones, but it was canceled in 2019. The actress said, "I'm sorry. I feel your pain. I equally got into it. I wasn't a huge fan and hadn't seen the shows until I was hired and then completely binged everything within the space of a couple of months and it's just wonderful. It's a deep shame, it would have been great fun. But I am not allowed to give anything away I'm afraid."
Hope is not lost as it was recently reported that there is another Game of Thrones prequel currently underway. The series which is currently titled House of Dragons will focus hundreds of years before the events in Game of Thrones. It will focus on the Targaryens rise to power and the "way they united the seven kingdoms."
The House of Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin's novel, Fire and Blood. The series has cast Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Paddy Considine as King Vyserys I Targaryen.
Game of Thrones: House of Dragon is slated for release in 2022.