Game of Thrones - Emilia Clark

I just got a phone call from a journalist friend -- well, we have never met or even spoken. But she is Facebook friend, so that is close enough by 21st century standards of communications, right? 

She wanted to get my "expert opinion" (ahem) about why HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones" and similar Vikings-themed shows were doing so well at connecting with viewers. We talked about it for 15 minutes and I seemed to be coming right back to the same old theme: "Game of Thrones" shows more flesh than, say, "Mike and Molly" (for which we can call a breathe a major collective sigh of relief), which is popular for entirely other reasons. I'll let CBS' crack research department take on this burning question all by itself -- for now.

I've watched "Game of Thrones" a few times -- waiting for "the good parts," admittedly, after hearing all about the media hype and The Nudity.I don't quite Get It with the popularity of this show. Maybe I'm thick but I don't spot a new breakout star, like, say, a Jon Hamm on "Mad Men." Nor is this exactly "Downton Abbey," with multiple sociological lessons to teach us about olden times and how we really can relate to them nowadays.

Let's review: no breakout sensation, for me, anyway. No deep, subliminal message, either.

To paraphrase James Carville, in an olden time of 1992: It's the nudity, stupid!

Right?

If by some fluke, you disagree with my impeccable logic, please let me know in this space.

BURNING QUESTION: How do you explain the major popularity of "Game of Thrones?"