‘Trail’ shows oaters still have ratings fiber

AMC pic scores high with auds

Scoring a 7.6 household rating, AMC’s “Broken Trail” was the second most-watched original movie in cable since 1995. And it almost tripled the previous record set by AMC — a 2.7 for the cable premiere in July 2005 of 1954 John Wayne movie “The High and the Mighty.”

For the past two years, AMC, which mostly runs movies, has averaged about a million viewers in primetime. “Broken Trail” harvested 9.8 million total viewers over the course of the two-parter’s first run on Sunday and Monday nights.

“Trail” was the first movie commissioned by AMC and cost a strapping $15 million plus a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign. Cabler is co-producer with Sony Pictures TV, which has all the international rights.

AMC chose an oater as its first original because “we knew from regular audience feedback that people look on AMC as a place to find Western movies,” said prexy Ed Carroll. Movies starring Western icons John Wayne and Clint Eastwood show up regularly on the cable net.

Carroll’s development staff will look at period settings and traditional movie genres (Westerns, gangster pictures) in deciding their next project. Net has greenlit the pilot of “Mad Men,” a drama set in the advertising world of the 1960s that’s written and produced by Matthew Weiner (“The Sopranos”).

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