12:37pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Game of Thrones' Season Finale Pulls Record 4.2 Million Viewers
HBO's Game of Thrones ended its second season with another high note Sunday night.
The extended broadcast, which ran an additional 10 minutes, pulled in 4.2 million viewers during its inaugural broadcast at 9 p.m. ET. With additional airings that night, the episode already averages a total 5.1 million viewers.
Sunday night's ratings mark a 38 percent jump over the first season's finale. That episode brought in 3 million, a series record at the time, after growing all season from its 2.2 million series premiere.
Most recently, Game of Thrones' penultimate episode of the season, Memorial Day weekend's hyped "Blackwater," earned just shy of 3.4 million viewers with a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 -- topping all nonsports cable broadcasts for the night.
Game of Thrones has been averaging 10.3 million viewers per episode for a gross audience (linear plays, DVR, HBO Go and HBO on Demand), topping last season's 9.3 million average and making it the third-most-watched series in HBO history.
Created by David Benioff and Dan Weiss and based on the best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones was renewed for a third season in April.
Elsewhere on HBO, Girls also hit a series high. The freshman comedy drew 1.1 million viewers during the 10:40 p.m. broadcast. It's grossing 4.2 million viewers per episode. Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, also posted solid numbers, pulling in 1.2 million viewers. Although it regularly outperforms Girls on Sunday nights, the comedy is grossing just behind its time slot neighbor with 3.8 million viewers per episode.