May 29, 2012

THE SKED: A’Feudin’ and A-Watchin’

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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History Channel has to be awfully happy with its decision to get into the scripted programming business.  Part 1 of HATFIELDS & MCCOYS (our review is here) premiered last night to the largest non-sports audience in basic cable history, almost 14 million people (17 million with the rebroadcast added), and what should be around a 3.5 rating in 18-49s, which means it outrated–by a wide margin–everything on network TV last night.

As a sign of just how big this is for History:  its hit series Pawn Stars, in its most recent airing last Monday night, was watched by about 5 million total viewers and had a 1.8 rating in 18-49s–which was enough to make it the highest-rated original non-sports show of the night on cable.   Hatfields & McCoys tripled its total viewership and doubled its 18-49 audience.

This is also welcome news for Kevin Costner, whose big-screen stardom isn’t what it used to be, but who clearly still has a big following–not to mention for Kevin Reynolds, the much-maligned director of his Waterworld.

Hatfields & McCoys continues its run tonight and tomorrow at 9PM, and will no doubt be rerun on History for as long and as often as its contract with Sony Television allows.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."