‘Cosmos’ Draws Biggest Global Audience Ever for National Geographic Channel

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” which premiered this spring on Fox and National Geographic Channel and received an unprecedented rollout in 180 countries, has become the most-watched series ever for National Geographic Channel International.

A whopping 135 million people — including 45 million in the U.S. — watched at least some of the 13-part science series, National Geographic Channel announced today. Overall, it aired on all 90 National Geographic Channels as well as 120 Fox-branded channels in 125 countries, making this the largest global launch ever for a television series.

Its March 3 premiere Stateside attracted roughly 8.5 million viewers across 10 channels. In addition to the Fox broadcast network and National Geographic Channel, “Cosmos” aired on cablers  FX, FXX, FXM, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo and FOX Life.

A unified scheduling approach — with regions airing the premiere episode within one week of its debut in the U.S. — alongside a comprehensive communications, marketing and digital strategy catapulted “Cosmos” to become the most-watched National Geographic Channel series ever by midseason. NGC said the previous high in viewership for National Geographic Channel International was the first season of “Brain Games” in 2011, though it didn’t have an overall figure.

The series has performed far above average in many of National Geographic Channel’s international territories, seeing triple digit increases against primetime or total-day averages in Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Croatia, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the U.K, also by midseason.

“ ‘Cosmos’ serves as a fantastic benchmark — illustrating the power of a fully integrated strategic vision, awe-inspiring content and the strengths of the Fox and National Geographic brands to create an outstanding viewing experience for audiences that repeats week after week,” said Liz Dolan, Chief Marketing Officer of Fox International Channels and National Geographic Channels International, in a statement.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” is a follow-up to the 1980s series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” with Carl Sagan.

The series was hosted this time around by astrophysicist and science enthusiast Neil deGrasse Tyson. Seth MacFarlane and Ann Druyan, the widow of Sagan, served as executive producers.

It has earned critical acclaim across the globe, including Critics’ Choice Awards for best reality series and best host.

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