HBO’s Chernobyl is sure getting some hard-earned praise all over the world, becoming one of the top miniseries of all time in the eyes of both professional critics and lay viewers. It aired to overwhelming universal acclaim, boasts the highest fan score on IMDB, and single-handedly increased tourism in Ukraine by double digits. Its ratings are going through the roof as well, and now we get the news that it also broke an important record previously held by Game of Thrones in terms of digital viewership, as Deadline reported. There really seems to be no limit to the show’s success—which is awesome. Great series should be greatly rewarded, after all.
The miniseries soared through the viewership skies with a cumulative audience of 8 million, thus beating Sharp Objects’ (Amy Adams) 7.3 million and poised to overtake True Detective’s 8.1 million soon enough. Chernobyl still trails behind Big Little Lies, whose first season got a whooping 8.5 million cumulative viewership—but it’s not impossible that the disaster show will overtake that one as well.
Digital viewership record
There is one particular area, however, where Chernobyl stands above everyone else for HBO, conclusively beating even the network’s biggest star, Game of Thrones. In a great win for HBO’s transition into a fully digital service, Chernobyl has managed to draw 52% of its audience from HBO Go, HBO Now, and other over-the-top media services, according to Deadline.
That’s huge news for HBO, and it makes Chernobyl its single most important miniseries at the moment. No other show had previously broken the 50% mark in this regard, making Chernobyl a veritable record-breaker. The previous record-holder, the TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, had a 46% digital viewership. After what many considered a disappointing conclusion for the Seven Kingdoms, Chernobyl has now taken the throne of an important territory in the digital world.
This announcement comes after reports of a general dislike in the Kremlin circles for the show. Unsurprisingly, the Russian government was not impressed with HBO’s depiction of their country and the events surrounding Chernobyl—despite widespread popular and professional acknowledgement that the miniseries is fairly accurate (though with some minor deviations from history). However, Russia is planning to produce their own Chernobyl series, and will reportedly feature a CIA agent sabotaging the nuclear plant and deliberately triggering the catastrophe.
The Russian government aside, everyone seems to love HBO’s miniseries, including many who lived in the Soviet Union during that time. The show’s writer, Craig Mazin, has repeatedly said how committed he was to making Chernobyl as faithful to the facts as possible, and looked to true survivor accounts to carefully represent the tragic events of the worst nuclear accident in history.
Regardless of its accuracy, it’s hard to deny that Chernobyl features truly intelligent writing, amazing production, immersive photography, a perfectly fitting score, masterful direction, and stellar acting from the likes of Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, and Emily Watson. With such a high level of quality, it’s great that Chernobyl is getting the praise it deserves.
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