Showtime’s ‘Penny Dreadful’ Off to Promising Ratings Start

Showtime’s well-reviewed horror series “Penny Dreadful” was a popular draw in its premiere Sunday, averaging 872,000 viewers for its first airing and 1.443 million viewers for the night — topping the network’s recent launches of “Homeland” and “Masters of Sex.”

And unlike “Homeland” and “Masters of Sex,” “Penny Dreadful” did not have the benefit of a strong drama lead-in. It also bowed at a time of lower viewing levels than the others, which opened in the fall.

An additional 900,000 subscribers sampled the series in the two weeks leading up to its premiere Sunday or Showtime on Demand and Showtime Anytime, according to Nielsen. This brings the total for “Penny” to 2.3 million viewers.

The series premiere was also offered across multiple platforms including YouTube, the Showtime website, via a number of television providers’ websites, on the Showtime Preview app on Smart TVs, as well as for download as a free video podcast on iTunes. Additional online sampling data will be available in the upcoming weeks for those platforms though early data shows that over 500,000 non-Showtime viewers have sampled the series to-date.

According to Showtime, roughly 62% of the “Penny Dreadful” audience was comprised of adults under 50, making it the youngest-skewing audience for a drama since the premiere of “Dexter” in 2006 (65%).

Showtime offered a Free Preview weekend, but the data for those non-subscribers is not included in the 2.3 million-viewer count.


More TV

  • Cash in the Spare Room

    Discovery Forges Ahead With Lifestyle, Entertainment for HGTV, Quest Red

    Discovery has signalled a growing reliance on lifestyle and entertainment content with a slate of new and returning shows. New commissions “The Nolans in the Mood for Cruising,” “Cash in the Spare Room” and “Clear Out Cash In” will air on Discovery’s free-to-air channels Quest Red, HGTV and Really, respectively, while recommissions “Helicopter ER” and [...]

  • Caroline Flack'ITV Palooza!', Royal Festival Hall,

    Caroline Flack's Death Ruled Suicide as Unpublished Instagram Post Surfaces

    U.K. coroners have labeled former “Love Island” host Caroline Flack’s death a suicide. The TV presenter was 40 years old. Flack, who left the show in December and was due to stand trial on assault charges in March, was found unresponsive at her London home on Saturday. Though no official cause of death was given [...]

  • Composite Mieli/Davey

    Sky Studios Forges Production Pact With Fremantle's The Apartment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sky Studios and Italy’s The Apartment, the Fremantle-owned production company headed by Lorenzo Mieli, have forged a multi-year development and production partnership that marks Sky’s first agreement of this type outside the U.K. Under the deal, Sky Studios, which is the Comcast-owned pay-TV broadcaster dedicated production arm, will provide The Apartment development funding for a [...]

  • The Mess You Leave Behind’

    Carlos Montero on New Netflix Original ‘The Mess You Leave Behind’

    Netflix’s announcement of new Spanish series late last month underscored the platform’s intent to diversify its palette in the country while betting once again on one of their own, Carlos Montero. After co-writing “Elite” Season 2, and with a third set soon to bow, Montero has made the jump to the director’s chair for the [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viola Davis, Holly Robinson Peete Pay Tribute to 'Good Times' Actress Ja'Net DuBois

    Actress Ja’Net DuBois died on Tuesday at her home in Glendale, Calif. at the age of 74. The actress, known for her role in the 70s sitcom “Good Times” as Wilona, the Evans family neighbor, died unexpectedly in her sleep. She appeared in several other films and shows throughout her career including “Charlie’s Angels: Full [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content