It took a bit for the masses to come around on Succession. Some major publications, such as Vulture, didn’t even recap it during its first season. But by Season 2 its legend started growing. Now everyone’s obsessed with a show whose hard-sell logline is basically “modern King Lear but with more swearing and puns.” And by the time of its barnburner of a Season 3 finale, the show had broke its own records.

According to The Wrap, the episode where [SPOILER] happened played to a whopping 1.7 million viewers across multiple HBO platforms on the night it aired. That wasn’t only a best for the acclaimed HBO show. It was also up a staggering 47% from the finale for Season 2, which had its own bombshell conclusion.

This season has a been a good one for Succession, not only in terms of quality but in terms of how many eyeballs it’s attracted. The season premiere kicked off with 1.4 million viewers. By the time it ended, eight episodes later, it had jumped up to 1.7 million, with an 8% uptick from the penultimate episode to the finale.

The Wrap reports that the average viewership for Succession’s third season episodes is 6.1 million over a set period of time — a huge increase of 56% compared to Season 2. The season 3 premiere has amassed 7 million viewers so far.

What’s to account for such a massive increase in viewers? Word-of-mouth, probably, combined with its ability to hit viewers with shocking twists. Succession has few name stars (though it has scores of incredibly talented performers) and its premise, again, is a bit tricky to describe. But sometimes excellence is rewarded with popularity, even if the show is filled with awful, awful characters.

(Via The Wrap)