HBO has clearly decided that Game of Thrones is its next big series. After just one episode, the network has already renewed the adaptation of a popular fantasy book series for a second season. The early renewal should bolster support from fans who might be uneasy about making such a heavy investment in a very complex show.

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The Game of Thrones premiere was watched by 2.2 million viewers (nearly doubling if you include same-night repeats). To put it in perspective, True Blood debuted with 1.4 million viewers, though the hit vampire show quickly grew to over 2.5 million by the end of the first season and nearly tripled its ratings by season 2. I’m sure HBO would love it if Game of Thrones followed the same pattern.

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There’s no word on when the show will start production on a second season, but it may have to be soon if the show wants to return in a timely manner. Due to the show’s epic scope, the 10-episode first season took seven months to film.

The early renewal has become increasingly popular for cable shows. By picking up a second season so soon, HBO is promising fans that if they start watching, it will be worth it to get hooked. While Game of Thrones may be hard to get into (there are 17 actors listed in the opening credits), HBO is assuring viewers that they won’t be left in the dark after a single season.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO, followed by the second season of the New Orleans drama Treme.

(Image courtesy of HBO)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.