June 04, 2013 9:13am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Grows With 'Red Wedding' -- But No New Record
A few more Game of Thrones regulars might be out of work after the events of Sunday's episode, but their loss is HBO's gain. The third season's penultimate offering, which dispatched a slew of central characters in a bloody climax, raked in 5.22 million viewers.
For those keeping track, that's not another personal best for Game of Thrones, which has hit new viewership records four times this season -- but it is up a tick from the most recent installment's 5.13 million viewers. In the adults 18-49 demo, which matters little to the pay cable network, the show was up two-tenths of a point to a 2.6 rating. It topped broadcasts across all TV for the night.
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Game of Thrones had a fair amount of buzz for "The Rains of Castamere." The episode in question tackled one of the more gruesome and talked-about events of George R. R. Martin's source material, the "Red Wedding" -- but it also had to contend with the typical drops seen after taking the Memorial Day weekend off.
This season's sixth episode, which brought in 5.5 million viewers, currently ranks as the series' most watched. And Game of Thrones heads into Sunday's season-three finale all but guaranteed to best last year's closer. That episode fetched 4.2 million viewers.
This season is currently averaging a cumulative haul of 13.4 million viewers after combining originals, repeat broadcasts, DVR, HBO Go and On Demand. The figure leaves the show in a close battle with soon-to-return True Blood for the title of HBO's most watched series.
Elsewhere on cable, Game of Thrones' cable runners-up included the returns of Keeping Up With the Kardashians (3.0 million viewers and a 1.6 adults rating) and The Real Housewives of New Jersey (2.8 million viewers and a 1.6 adults rating). Mad Men also rebounded from its soft Memorial Day weekend showing with 2.45 million viewers and a 0.8 rating with adults 18-49.