8 HBO TV show seasons released this year that were better than 'Game of Thrones'
- "Game of Thrones" ended on a lackluster note with critics this year, as the final season received a 58% Rotten Tomatoes score.
- But HBO has delivered plenty of critically acclaimed shows since "Game of Thrones" ended that should keep audiences sticking with the network as the streaming wars heat up.
- They include "Watchmen," "Succession," and "Euphoria."
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HBO's hit fantasy drama "Game of Thrones" ended on a disappointing note this year for critics and fans alike.
After seven highly rated seasons, the eighth and final season received a horrible 58% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and an even worse 32% audience score.
And the tension seemed to heighten for HBO when widely circulated survey earlier this year posited that a significant portion of HBO Now subscribers would cancel if a "specific program" (such as "Game of Thrones") ended. But analysts told Business Insider at the time that respondents to these kinds of surveys tend to exaggerate their willingness to cancel.
"While 'Game of Thrones' may be a driver for subscriptions, HBO does not suffer immediate losses to subscription revenues after a season finishes," Toby Holleran, a senior analyst at Ampere Analysis, told Business Insider at the time.
The end of "Game of Thrones" wasn't a sign of doom for HBO, but the network still had to deliver the hits to keep subscribers happy. And since "Game of Thrones" ended, HBO has done so, releasing plenty of TV shows that have received critical acclaim and attracted audiences. Most recently, "Watchmen," based on the iconic graphic novel of the same name, has garnered praise from critics with a 97% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.
That is good news for HBO, which is facing a slew of new competitors in the streaming war, from Disney to Apple, on top of old foes like Netflix and Hulu.
It remains to be seen whether the network will keep its storied reputation in the coming years, as WarnerMedia looks to ramp up its output of content and launch the new, more expansive streaming service HBO Max next year.
While HBO's quality programming has continued since "Game of Thrones" ended, the shows debuting this year were in development under HBO CEO Richard Plepler's leadership, who resigned earlier this year along with a bunch of other WarnerMedia executives after AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner. Still, it's worth noting that HBO's programming chief, Casey Bloys, remains with the company.
Below are eight HBO TV series seasons released after "Game of Thrones" ended that show how HBO has continued its high-quality output: