‘Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses’ Debut Conjures up Some Ratings Magic

Helen Mirren-hosted quiz show bows as cable’s most-watched new unscripted series of 2021

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses
Helen Mirren hosted "Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses" (WarnerMedia)

“Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses” has Wingardium Leviosa-ed its way to the top of the ratings rankings for cable TV’s new unscripted series of 2021. The premiere episode topped 3.1 million total viewers across its TBS (2.3 million) and Cartoon Network (845,000) simulcast.

That TBS viewership alone was actually enough to be No. 1 among the 123 new unscripted cable series (thus far) of 2021. It also makes the quiz show TBS’ biggest original series premiere in nearly three years.

On TBS, 918,000 viewers came from the adults 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen’s Live + Same Day ratings. On Cartoon Network, 299,000 were in that demo.

“Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses” debuted Sunday at 8 p.m., when Hufflepuff narrowly defeated team Gryffindor.

On this coming Sunday’s episode, viewers will get a sneak peek of HBO Max’s “Harry Potter” reunion, which will see Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, filmmaker Chris Columbus and other cast members across all eight movies come together for the first time to celebrate the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Here’s a synopsis of Sunday’s episode, “Ravenclaw vs. Slytherin,” in the show’s own words: Tonight’s blockbuster battle of the Houses of Hogwarts sees the wise and witty Ravenclaws go up against the proud and ambitious Slytherins in a test of Wizarding World knowledge. Only one team can claim an automatic place in the grand finale. As always, tonight’s match-up will take place under the watchful eye of the master of ceremonies Helen Mirren, and guest stars Tom Felton, Shirley Henderson, Jay Leno, and Luke Youngblood. Filled with classic “Harry Potter” movie moments, this is another historic night in Hogwarts history.

The four-part trivia series will continue on Sunday, Dec. 12 with a “Wildcard Round” episode when the two houses that lost their previous battles get one last chance to take their place in the grand finale. The whole thing wraps a week later, with Sunday, Dec. 19’s “Grand Finale” episode.

The series is produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, in association with Warner Horizon alongside Robin Ashbrook and Yasmin Shackleton of theoldschool.