Oater achiever

Net blazes 'Trail' to an ample aud

AMC was sitting high in the saddle Sunday night, setting network ratings records with the premiere of Western “Broken Trail” — its first original movie event.

Opening installment of the two-parter starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church attracted a big 9.9 million viewers overall, boosted by a substantial 50-plus tune-in. It made AMC the most-watched net on television from 8 to 9:45 p.m.

Among all movies on ad-supported cable, only TNT’s “Crossfire Trail,” a 2001 Western starring Tom Selleck, has drawn a larger aud (12.6 million).

Concluding seg of “Broken Trail” on Monday didn’t lose a beat, commanding 9.7 million viewers.

For AMC, the mini’s premiere was the culmination of a multitiered promotional strategy that included the airing of behind-the-scenes vignettes and trailers in select movie theaters. Pic aired with limited commercial interruption thanks to presenting sponsor Ford Motor Co.

“Broken Trail” also continues AMC’s strong run with Western-themed programming. Its 2005 agreement with Paramount provided the cabler with 32 of John Wayne’s greatest films, including the restored and remastered “The High and the Mighty,” which had been the network’s most-watched movie prior to Sunday.

Ten of AMC’s top 25 telecasts to date have been oaters.

Movie ranked sixth among all primetime telecasts last week in total viewers and 16th in adults 25-54 (2.8 rating/8 share). Indicative of its older skew, though, pic ranked 54th in adults 18-49 (1.7/5).

Week of June 18-25 was actually bookended by two strong movie perfs on cable, with Lifetime drawing 5.1 million (and a good demo showing) for its original Monday pic “A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story.”

According to Nielsen data, Fox captured the frame in adults 18-49 behind unscripted skeins “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Hell’s Kitchen.” NBC also made some noise with a nice premiere for “America’s Got Talent.”

At Lifetime, “A Girl Like Me” averaged a hearty 1.9/5 in 18-49 and 5.1 million viewers overall with its premiere — cable’s top telecast of the week in the 18-49 demo. Fact-based original movie starred Mercedes Ruehl as the mother of a transgender teen (played by J.D. Pardo) whose life ends in murder.

Elsewhere during the week, Fox’s 2.5 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 was enough to hold off NBC (2.2/7), with ABC and CBS tied for third (2.0/6). Univision ranked fifth (1.5/5) but moved up to a third-place tie with ABC in adults 18-34 (1.7/6).

It was a three-way tie among CBS, NBC and Fox for the lead in adults 25-54 (2.6 rating for each), with the Eye leading the way once again in total viewers (7.44 million).

Pacing Fox for the frame was “So You Think You Can Dance” on Thursday (3.7/11 in 18-49, 9.28m), which led its hour in under-50 demos. Wednesday’s two-hour seg held up well despite competish from NBC’s two-hour preem of “America’s Got Talent” (4.6/14 in 18-49, 12.41m).

“Talent” led its timeslot in key demos, growing in its second hour (Daily Variety, June 23). Since the May sweep ended May 24, the only series telecast to rate higher in demos than “Talent” has been the June 5 season finale of NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” (5.6/17 in 18-49).

A repeat of “Talent” fared well on Friday, too, winning the 9-11 p.m. time period in 18-49 for NBC (2.4/8).

Other standout series perfs for the week included Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” on Monday (slot-leading 3.4/9 in 18-49, 7.50m) and NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” on Tuesday (3.5/10, 7.34m).

ABC actually had the week’s No. 1 telecast with Tuesday’s deciding Game 6 of the NBA Finals (6.5/19 in 18-49, 15.71m), but the net was an also-ran overall as it accounted for only two other programs in the week’s top 25.

Premiere of the Alphabet’s “Master of Champions” on Thursday settled for a 2.0/7 in 18-49, edged out by CBS’ “Game Show Marathon” (2.1/7). Latter also led the 8 o’clock slot in adults 25-54 (2.7/9) and total viewers (7.46 million).

NBC’s “Windfall,” the only firstrun drama airing on the broadcast nets this summer, slipped in its third Thursday outing (2.4/7 in 18-49, 5.58m), falling behind a repeat of CBS drama “Without a Trace” (2.7/8, 10.16m).

* * *

On Monday of the current week, NBC’s “Treasure Hunters” opened modestly in its regular 9 o’clock slot (2.5/7 in 18-49, 5.79m). Airing was the skein’s first since a special Sunday preview seg on June 18, which similarly underwhelmed (2.8/8 in 18-49, 6.9 million).

“Treasure” was no match for Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.7/10, 7.97m), which cooked the competish in all key categories except total viewers.

ABC saw the weakest scores in three tries to date for 10 o’clock dating skein “How to Get the Guy” (1.5/4, 3.10m).

But sibling cabler ABC Family was pleased with the showing for the premiere of “Kyle XY,” whose 2.6 million viewers at 8 o’clock made it the net’s most-watched original series telecast to date. It led its timeslot in teens (1.9/8) and female teens (2.8/10).

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