‘Chernobyl’ HBO Series Has Best Audience Ratings Ever, Tops ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Breaking Bad’

Viewers were absolutely addicted to this gripping mini-series about Russia’s 1986 nuclear disaster.


HBO‘s Chernobyl, which aired its finale Monday night, was a limited-run series about a real historical event. The kind of thing that could have been merely interesting, at worst boring and dry. 

Instead it was a blockbuster success for the pay cable giant, considered by viewers and critics one of the finest shows of its kind. 

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The ChNPP cooling towers were supposed to reject waste heat to the atmosphere through the cooling of a water stream to a lower temperature from Units 5&6. Unfortunately, due to the accident, they were never completed. ⠀ Градирні ЧАЕС були призначені для охолодження води атмосферним повітрям на 5 та 6 енергобоках. На жаль, через аварію вони так і не були добудовані. ⠀ Градирни ЧАЭС были предназначены для охлаждения воды атмосферным воздухом на 5 и 6 енергобоках. К сожалению, из-за аварии они так и не были достроены.

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Social media critiques were uniformly positive, but that wasn’t the only evidence of Chernobyl‘s quality. 

Forbes culled audience ratings for the portrayal of the Ukraine nuclear disaster that killed thousands and left an entire region uninhabitable and Chernobyl‘s superiority is right there in the numbers:

  1. Chernobyl (9.7 – 111,000 votes)
  2. Planet Earth II (9.5 – 71,000 votes)
  3. Band of Brothers (9.5 – 317,000 votes)
  4. Planet Earth (9.4 – 147,000 votes)
  5. Breaking Bad (9.4 – 1,200,000 votes)
  6. Game of Thrones (9.4, 1,500,000 votes)
  7. Our Planet (9.4 – 10,000 votes)
  8. The Wire (9.3 – 244,000 votes)
  9. Cosmos (9.3 – 95,000 votes)
  10. Blue Planet (9.3 – 19,000 votes)

That means that however many viewers the show has had—and Chernobyl hasn’t had Game of Thrones audience numbers—almost all of them consider it a masterpiece. 

Chernobyl was a miniseries so perhaps a different animal from the likes of Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, but it seems clear it was considered their equal if not superior. 

Just a few tweets give plenty of anecdotal evidence as to audience response.

You can watch Chernobyl for yourself if you missed out here.