May 30, 2012

THE SKED: “Hatfields & McCoys” Keep Shooting

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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History Channel, which just entered the world of scripted television 2 days ago, now owns the #1 and #2 scripted programs in the history of basic cable, as the 2d installment of HATFIELDS & MCCOYS barely declined from Monday’s premiere.  Tuesday’s episode was down only around 5% from Part 1, to about 13 million viewers in its initial airing, and the fall in 18-49s was even less, down an insignificant 2% or so.  That should pretty much guarantee another hefty number tonight for the show’s finale, and one has to think the network is busily entertaining pitches from producers for future scripted events.

Also feeling pretty good today:  Gabriel Byrne, who’d already been signed as the star of History’s first regular scripted series, Vikings.  That 10-part saga, written by Michael Hirst of The Tudors, is scheduled to debut in 2013.  Vikings may not bring quite as many eyeballs to History as Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as warring Southerners, but at this rate, Byrne should be watched in its first episode alone than tuned in to his critically acclaimed HBO series In Treatment during its entire low-rated run.

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."