That's the biggest audience for any series premiere on the premium cable network since the first season of True Detective kicked off in January 2014.
With Game of Thrones in its final stages and newer drama contenders like last year's Vinyl failing to gain traction, HBO has undoubtedly been in search of a buzzy new hit, especially in the drama category. Critics have so far largely applauded Westworld, an update of Michael Crichton's 1973 sci-fi film about an ultra-realistic Wild West theme park and the dawning of consciousness among its android inhabitants.
The complicated, expensive production of the first season of Westworld, coupled with the rise of Netflix and the exit of former programming chief Michael Lombardo, have combined to make the show's launch -- as well as that of Divorce and Insecure this coming Sunday -- a test for HBO. But it's one that, for the moment, the network appears to have aced.