12:30pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Game of Thrones' Retains More Than 97 Percent of Premiere Audience
In something of a rare feat, HBO's Game of Thrones continued its sophomore season Sunday night without losing a noticeable portion of its premiere audience.
Last week's record 3.9 million viewers were followed by 3.8 million viewers for last night's 9 p.m. airing of the second episode, a more than 97 percent retention rate. An additional 1.1 million viewers watched the encore at 11 p.m.
PHOTOS: 'Game of Thrones' Season 2 Preview
With limited data from encores, On Demand and HBO Go after last week's premiere, the network also cites that the Season 2 opener of Game of Thrones brought in 7.5 million viewers, putting it on track to top last year's average gross of 9.3 million viewers.
Despite gains and good news, HBO remains silent on an official Season 3 pick-up for the series -- which, given the numbers and shower of media attention, seems imminent.
Game of Thrones premiered in April 2011 to 2.2 million viewers and a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49, growing over its 10 episode run to end with 3 million viewers and a 1.4 rating in the demo. It's currently on track to best its freshman average by more than 50 percent.