The Sony Pictures TV/Tribune Studios series by all measures ranks as a hit for the Tribune Media cabler, drawing solid numbers since its Jan. 26 premiere and growing week to week. To date the show is averaging 2.8 million viewers in live-plus-7 ratings.
The timing is good for Tribune as the company has accelerated efforts to find a buyer for some of all of its TV and digital assets. The refurbishing of WGN America as an general entertainment channel offering original series has been a big investment for the Tribune team during the past few years.
“Outsiders” is WGNA’s third original series and looks to be its most successful. It’s boosted WGNA’s primetime average by double-digits in total viewers and adults 25-54. The momentum from “Outsiders” and strong reviews helped WGNA get its fourth series, “Underground,” off to a good start on Wednesday with 2.5 million viewers across four airings.
“We are thrilled that ‘Outsiders’ has connected with fans in such a powerful and palpable way, and met our highest expectations on every possible level,” said WGNA and Tribune Studios president Matt Cherniss.
“Outsiders” stars TV vet David Morse as the patriarch of an off-the-grid family in Kentucky battling outside forces in a stoic bid to maintain their unconventional lifestyle. Peter Mattei created the series and exec produces with Peter Tolan, Paul Giamatti, Dan Carey and Michael Wimer.
WGNA has ordered 13 episodes for season two.
“It’s a dream to bring this combustible mash-up of fairy tale, hillbilly gothic, epic drama, current headlines and good old mayhem to life,” Mattei and Tolan said.
“Outsiders” will be showcased on Saturday with a screening at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
“It’s been gratifying to watch the ‘Outsiders’ audience steadily grow as viewers continue to be drawn in and riveted by this double-edged story of a family fighting to maintain their traditions and way of life,” said Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, Sony Pictures TV’s presidents of programming and production. “We’re looking forward to another season of masterful storytelling from our creative team, Peter Mattei, Peter Tolan and Paul Giamatti.”