There wasn’t much of a rind on Westworld back when the show was new, as loads of viewers tuned in religiously to catch its debut season. Now, HBO is hoping a marked dip in viewership for the just-aired Season 2 won’t prevent people from choosing to still see the beauty in its android-dominated adventure, as the show’s already confirmed for a Season 3.
Via Variety, final Nielsen numbers are in now that Westworld’s trippy Season 2 finale has aired, and the send-off episode saw an overall drop-off in viewership compared with the final episode in the show's heavily-viewed first season.
Season 2’s “The Passenger” episode drew 1.6 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic sweet spot, down 30 percent from the 2.2 million viewers who tuned in for the finale of Season 1. Overall, “Season 2 of the show has averaged a 0.6 rating and 1.6 million viewers per episode in Live+Same Day” category, Variety reports. “That is down approximately 14% in total viewers and 23% in the key demo from Season 1, which averaged 1.8 million viewers and a 0.8 rating.”
HBO reportedly anticipates that each of the ten episodes that make up Westworld’s second season eventually will be watched by 10 million people. That’s down from the 13 million per-episode numbers that HBO estimates watched over the course of the show’s debut run.
Not accounted for in these numbers is the binge factor, which HBO believes may close some of the gap in viewership as people get around to checking out Season 2 during the development hiatus ahead of Season 3. “…HBO has frequently touted the fact that Westworld sees the lion’s share of its viewership in multi-platform and delayed viewing,” the report notes.
Season 2 carried the show into murkier narrative territory following the setup Season 1 delivered, and left things decidedly ambiguous at the end of its final installment Sunday. Will HBO be able to entice guests back to its adult playground when Season 3 finally premieres? There’s no early word on a Season 3 release date, so stay tuned.