By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol
2:00 PM CDT, April 8, 2014
"Game of Thrones" won't be won any time soon. HBO announced Tuesday it has renewed the fantasy hit for a fifth and sixth season.
With Sunday's Season 4 premiere scoring HBO's biggest ratings since 2007's finale of "The Sopranos," it only makes sense the cable network would renew the show. Season 4 opened at 8 p.m. Sunday, averaging 6.6 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. That "Sopranos" finale drew 11.9 million viewers.
"'Game of Thrones' is a phenomenon like no other," said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO Programming. "David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with their talented collaborators, continue to surpass themselves, and we look forward to more of their dazzling storytelling."
Based George R.R. Martin's fantasy book series, "Game of Thrones" stars Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Charles Dance, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Kit Harington, Diana Rigg, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Alfie Allen, Jerome Flynn, Conleth Hill, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Stephen Dillane, Natalie Dormer, Iain Glen, Kristofer Hivju, Sibel Kekilli, Rose Leslie, Rory McCann, Michael McElhatton, Iwan Rheon and Carice van Houten.
It's the biggest cast on TV, and will undoubtedly grow in the fifth and sixth seasons despite beheadings, war and other unpleasant deaths.
The Season 4 premiere improved 52 percent over last season's premiere and 23 percent over last season's finale, according to HBO. New episodes premiere at 8 p.m. Sundays.
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