USA’s record $20 million marketing campaign for its limited series “The Starter Wife” paid off when the show’s first two hours on Thursday scored 2.88 million adults 18-49 — the best launch in that demo for an original series on USA in three years.
The two-hour premiere racked up 5.4 million total viewers, 2.8 million of whom were adults 25-54, USA’s target demo. In the key adult demos of 18-49 and 25-54, “Starter Wife” beat the programming on every other cable net Thursday night and on every broadcast web except CBS.
“Starter Wife” also performed better in the two demos than any other original scripted episodes on ad-supported cable networks so far this year. Searching for a strong lead-in to “Starter Wife,” USA scheduled a run of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl,” the final hour of which delivered 1.9 million in each of the two demos.
If the next four hours of “Starter Wife” (which will run as a weekly hour each Thursday for the next four weeks through June 28) perform as well as the premiere, USA has the option to take the next step and turn it into a regular series.
“Starter Wife” is a production of Hay Pop Pty in association with McGibbon/Parriott Prods. and 3 Arts Entertainment for NBC Universal TV Studio.