'Westworld' Opens Season 3 With Smaller, Streaming-Heavy Audience

Westworld S03_Evan Rachel Wood_2 - Publicity - H 2020
John P. Johnson/HBO

HBO's Westworld debuted its third season to a considerably smaller audience than its season two premiere, but replays and streaming made up a portion of the deficit.

Sunday's premiere gathered an audience of 1.7 million viewers, per Nielsen and HBO figures. The on-air debut for Westworld brought in 901,000 viewers, less than half of the 2.05 million who watched the season two premiere in April 2018. An on-air replay and early digital viewing accounted for about 800,000 more viewers — 47 percent of the show's Sunday total.

Streaming and the on-air replay closed the gap between seasons somewhat: While linear ratings were down 56 percent, the multiplatform number is off a steep but less unsightly 43 percent. 

The season two debut racked up 3 million viewers across all platforms on its first night, with only about a third watching replays or streaming. HBO says 30 percent of Westworld's season two average of 9.2 million viewers came from digital platforms. For more recent shows, that figure is as high as 50 percent.

Westworld does compare favorably with the two most recent occupants of HBO's 9 p.m. Sunday spot, Watchmen and The Outsider. The former premiered in October to 799,000 on-air viewers and a first-night total of 1.5 million, on its way to averaging 7 million multiplatform viewers over the entire run of the series.

The Outsider's Jan. 12 premiere brought in 724,000 viewers for its initial airing and 1.1 million across all platforms on night one. The Stephen King adaptation grew over the course of the season, eventually outpacing Watchmen and averaging 9 million viewers across platforms over its 10-week run.