‘Game of Thrones,’ ABC’s games dominate Sunday

By: | Published: June 29, 2016 9:53 AM

On an unusually busy summer night of television, viewers turned out Sunday for game shows, ''Game of Thrones'' and a BET awards show stuffed with tributes to the late Prince.

lifestyleHBO drew a record audience of 8.9 million for the sixth season finale of the fantasy series ”Game of Thrones.” (Associated Press)

On an unusually busy summer night of television, viewers turned out Sunday for game shows, ”Game of Thrones” and a BET awards show stuffed with tributes to the late Prince.

HBO drew a record audience of 8.9 million for the sixth season finale of the fantasy series ”Game of Thrones,” besting the 8.1 million for the previous season-ender, the Nielsen company said Tuesday.

That’s usually only a fraction of the number of people who catch an episode once DVR playbacks, reruns and HBO Go viewings are added in.

Viewership more than doubles, and gets close to tripling, with time-shifting taken into account, according to the research firm Samba TV.

ABC may be growing as a family favorite by bunching remakes of classic game shows on Sunday. The first edition of its game night featured ”The $100,000 Pyramid,” ”Celebrity Family Feud” and ”Match Game,” and each program landed among Nielsen’s 10 most-watched programs of the week.

Viacom’s decision to televise Sunday’s BET Awards across 12 of its networks, including Nickelodeon and MTV, may have saved the program from an embarrassing ratings story. The show was seen on Sunday by 7.2 million viewers, with 4.5 million watching on BET.

Last year, when it was shown on BET and its Centric offshoot, the viewership was 6.3 million, Nielsen said.

The BET event had its share of memorable moments, from multiple performances of Prince numbers to Justin Timberlake attracting some Twitter hate for saying on social media that he liked an attention-getting speech on black culture by actor Jesse Williams.

That attracted the notice of ”senior black-skinned correspondent” Roy Wood Jr. on ”The Daily Show,” who said Timberlake deserved credit.

”He was watching the BET Awards when every other white person was watching `Game of Thrones,”’ Wood said.

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