‘Band’ boffo in Blighty

Over 5 million viewers tuned in Spielberg-Hanks mini

LONDON — British TV premiere of “Band of Brothers,” the HBO WWII miniseries by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, has proved a spectacular success — making the pubcaster’s decision to bump the pricey, high-profile epic from flagship BBC1’s fall sked seem foolish.

More than 5 million viewers tuned in to the opening double episode on niche net BBC2 Friday night, which won an impressive 24% audience share according to overnight ratings.

The BBC coughed up a record 7 million pounds ($10 million) for the skein. But execs moved it to BBC2 amid fears that it would not be mainstream enough.

In fact, “Band of Brothers,” hailed by one U.K. critic as “a major and significant piece of television,” beat ITV’s ratings-banker “The Bill,” one of Blighty’s top police series, which drew4.7 million viewers.

A summer row blew up in the British press after local war vets, annoyed about Hollywood rewriting war history, claimed the storyline gave the impression that America won the war single-handedly.

Now it seems likely that the current tensions following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. may have helped “Band of Brothers,” which was filmed in the U.K., attract a larger aud.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety

Loading