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Game of Thrones draws Sky Atlantic's highest ever audience

Sean Bean as Lord Eddard Stark

Story by Jack Foley

GAME Of Thrones has helped to bring Sky Atlantic its highest single audience since the channel launched in February.

According to BARB/TNS Overnights (and a report on US publication Variety), the pilot episode of the Sean Bean medieval fantasy attracted an average audience of 743,000.

This out-performed the opening episode of Boardwalk Empire – the show that officially launched the channel – which was watched by 438,000.

A delighted spokesman for BSkyB said that 30% of all those who saw Game of Thrones were new to the channel, adding that the episode held onto its audience throughout the first hour, peaking with 823,000 viewers.

Overall, Game of Thrones came fifth behind the four main terrestrial channels, BBC 1 and 2, ITV1 and Channel 4, and Glee on E4.

Breaking news: HBO has just renewed Game of Thrones for a second season, which will debut next year.

The sophomore run will be based on George R.R. Martin’s second book in his Song of Ice and Fire series, A Clash of Kings.

Michael Lombardo, president of HBO, told Entertainment Weekly: “We are delighted by the way David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have brought George R.R. Martin’s amazing book series to the screen, and thrilled by the support of the media and our viewers. This is the continuation of an exciting creative partnership.”

Read our first episode review or our interviews with stars Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage