HBO’s ‘Pacific’ off to slow but steady start

Series beats 'John Adams' ratings

HBO miniseries “The Pacific” set sail Sunday and drew 3.1 million viewers for its initial showing and an additional 900,000 for a later telecast that same evening.

Total aud for “The Pacific” was 22% higher than the premiere of the cabler’s last mini, “John Adams.”

Also by comparison, World War II miniseries “Band of Brothers,” which aired in 2001, performed significantly better — 10 million viewers for the first episode — but there are several caveats.

The Nielsen tally for “Brothers” included all HBO channels airing at the time (such tracking changed in 2004), and there was no HBO on Demand or DVR usage to account for. The pay cabler believes once those latter numbers are added to “The Pacific,” total viewers for its premiere episode should be north of 9 million.

Also, a major storm that hit the East Coast caused many viewers to lose power, possibly lowering viewership.

The 10-part drama “The Pacific,” shot in Australia for about $200 million, stars James Badge Dale, Jon Seda and Joseph Mazzello as three Marines who fight the Japanese and try to adjust to civilian life after returning home. Dale’s AMC thriller series “Rubicon” shoots in New York starting March 29.

Network has ordered 13 hourlong episodes. Warner Horizon skein is scheduled to premiere in the summer.