The second episode of the “Game of Thrones” prequel series on HBO “House of the Dragon” drew 10.2 million viewers Sunday, a 2% increase from its record-breaking series premiere.
“Dragon” is off to the most successful start for an HBO series to date. The debut episode amassed over 20 million viewers by its fourth day of release, a mark the second episode is on pace to top.
At a time in which few services can record wins — see Netflix — HBO has scored the largest singular win of the year with “Dragon.”
Still, the year has been rocky for HBO. While “Dragon” sets records, another show broke records for historical lows.
We are talking about “
Game Race Theory with Bomani Jones.”
With a simple premise of calling white people racist, “Race Theory” recorded the most embarrassing first year for any HBO original series on record.
The numbers were horrific. HBO placed Jones directly following the top-rated “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” to boost his reach. Programs following Oliver typically maintain about 60% of his audience.
But not Jones. He maintained 20% of its lead-in audience. He lost 80% of what Oliver handed him. 80%.
That type of tank job is signature Bomani Jones — ask ESPN Radio and ESPN TV.
HBO airs “Dragon” and “Race Theory” both in the Sunday night lineup. The second episode of “Dragon” drew 10.2 million viewers. The second episode of “Race Theory” topped out at — wait for it — 44,000 viewers in May.
Jones lost to a 2 a.m. CNBC infomercial that night. Word is CNBC ran an ad about smoothies.
You might wonder why HBO renewed a program that failed to such an epic degree. Answer: HBO is afraid.
When ESPN canceled Bomani Jones’ “High Noon,” for also setting record lows, Jones’ media allies on Twitter called ESPN racist. If you cancel Jones’ programs for historically low ratings, which they’ve all drawn, he and the press will call you racist.
Thus, HBO would rather let other programs make up for Bomani Jones’ atrocious viewership instead of seeing Jemele Hill post a tweet about the service unfairly handling Jones’ career.
So we can’t give HBO too much credit in 2022. Sure, “Dragon” is monstrous and Bill Maher has a year of resurgence. But you can’t be the streaming/TV winner with the biggest ratings loser on the market: Bomani Jones.
As lackluster as Showtime’s top programming is, Showtime’s lows bottom out with re-airs of cringe comedies. Take notes, HBO.
Viewers love dragons, blood, wild sex, deaths, and swords. Viewers hate a stiff broadcaster, obsessive race-baiter, and Joy Reid wannabe.
So, unless HBO shoots a scene in which a dragon attacks Bomani Jones with fire during one of his racist rants, “Race Theory” has no hope.