Mini-Series Soar, History Net Makes History With 'Hatfields'

The summer has begun with some low-rated network TV. But a surprising cable miniseries offered up some real rating/viewership shooting.

Memorial Day -- the traditional start of the summer season -- only offered three original shows by the networks: NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” ABC’s “The Bachelorette” and NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior.”

“Talent," last year’s top-rated summer show, earned the best results: a Nielsen preliminary 2.7 rating/8 share among 18-49 viewers. It pulled in 10 million viewers -- almost double that of “The Bachelorette," which came in at 5.73 million viewers and a 1.8/5 among 18-49. The two shows ran against each other in the 8 p.m. hour.

At 9 p.m., “Ninja" took in a 2.0/5 among 18-49 viewers and 5.73 million overall viewers.

But the more typical news was that all these shows were down versus their premiere starts a week before; “Talent” was down 16%; “Bachelorette" was off 25%; and “Ninja” gave up 17%.



Overall, NBC won among 18-49 viewers with a 1.9/5; ABC earned a 1.5/4; Univision and CBS both scored a 1.2/3; Fox had a 0.8/2; and CW came in at a 0.3/1.

But it seemed History network’s “Hatfields & McCoys” first part of a three-night mini-series hit the real bull’s eye. The cable channel said the first night took in a massive 13.9 million viewers -- more than twice the average number of viewers NBC had on the night (6.18 million). History says it garnered the largest cable audience for a non-sports TV program.

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