'Game of Thrones' Premiere Tops Nielsen's First Weekly LGBTQ Ratings

Game of Thrones E801 - Still 12 - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of HBO

Nielsen has released its first-ever weekly ratings for same-gender partner households, and its numbers show HBO's Game of Thrones as the most popular show among LGBTQ viewers.

Nielsen announced in the fall that it was expanding its reporting to include same-gender couples in an effort to better reflect LGBTQ inclusion in its national sample. Heads of households taking part in Nielsen's TV ratings survey were given the option to state whether their spouse or partner is of the same gender.

For the week of April 8, the most-watched shows on cable and broadcast TV — the Game of Thrones premiere on HBO and the NCAA men's basketball championship on CBS — also topped the rankings among same-gender partner homes. About 191,000 people in those homes watched Game of Thrones the night it aired, and nearly 177,000 tuned into CBS' basketball game.

Several shows in the overall broadcast top 10, including CBS' NCIS and Survivor, the Monday edition of NBC's The Voice and Sunday's installment of ABC's American Idol, also ranked high among same-gender households. ABC's comedy The Goldbergs, No. 10 among LGBTQ homes, was the farthest outside the top 10 overall, ranking 28th for the week.

The number of LGBTQ viewers for Game of Thrones was almost three times that of the No. 2 cable show, MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, in keeping with the HBO show's overall dominance of the cable rankings. 

VH1's RuPaul's Drag Race and companion show Untucked had the highest concentration of LGBTQ viewers in Nielsen's sample; each show got 16 percent of its audience from same-gender partner homes.

Though the rankings for April 8 are the first set of weekly numbers Nielsen has released on same-gender household viewing, it has been tracking those ratings on the broadcast networks all season. ABC's The Conners (146,740 viewers) ranks first in same-gender partner homes, followed by NBC's Will & Grace, America's Got Talent: The Champions, The Voice (Monday) and Sunday Night Football.

Below are the 10 most-watched primetime shows on broadcast and cable among same-gender partner homes for the week of April 8, with overall viewership in parentheses. All numbers are live-plus-same-day.


1. NCAA Men's Championship (CBS), 176,934 (19.72 million)
2. Survivor (CBS), 120,921 (7.6 million)
3. NCIS (CBS), 116,498 (11.82 million)
4. 60 Minutes (CBS), 96,273 (8.72 million)
5. Modern Family (ABC), 95,180 (4.81 million)
6. The Voice (Monday) (NBC), 95,130 (7.62 million)
7. American Idol (Sunday) (ABC), 94,696 (7.26 million)
8. Grey's Anatomy (ABC), 84,223 (6.82 million)
9. The Voice (Tuesday) (NBC), 81,510 (7.32 million)
10. The Goldbergs (ABC), 79,655 (4.64 million)


1. Game of Thrones (HBO), 191,135 (11.76 million)
2. The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC), 66,071 (2.55 million)
3. Untucked (VH1), 65,782 (405,989)
4. RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1), 64,082 (402,516)
5. All In With Chris Hayes (MSNBC), 34,280 (1.57 million)
6. Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell (MSNBC), 33,344 (2.02 million)
7. Spring Baking Championship (Food Network), 27,858 (1.04 million)
8. The Curse of Oak Island (History), 26,502 (3.06 million)
9. Little People, Big World (TLC), 25,243 (1.34 million)
10. Gold Rush: Dave Turin's Lost Mine (Discovery), 24,578 (1.33 million)