May 31, 2012

THE SKED: “Hatfields & McCoys” Blows Up The Record Books – Again

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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It’s not exactly a surprise that History’s HATFIELDS & MCCOYS had another spectacular ratings night with its conclusion on Wednesday.  The show actually went up from its record-setting Part 1 audience to a phenomenal 14.3 million viewers, with an 18-49 audience that should be in the high 3s–not just easily beating everything on broadcast TV for the evening, but doubling the highest-rated show on the networks (FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance) in total audience. 

History, which had never aired a scripted show before Monday, now has the top 3 scripted broadcasts in the history of basic cable.  This will certainly prompt it and other networks who’ve stayed out of the scripted business to plunge in.  It also offers up an interesting question as to what Kevin Costner will do next.  His big-screen career has languished in recent years (Swing Vote, anyone?  Mr. Brooks?), and he currently has only the role of Superman’s adopted dad in The Man of Steel on his plate.  Will he try to parlay this huge success into a return to movies, or consider himself happy to be a TV superstar?  Also, after years of being “the guy who directed Waterworld,” Kevin Reynolds should be back on studio lists (Costner taketh away and giveth).  One thing for certain:  get ready for more cable westerns.

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."