Frank Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer’s “Medici: Masters of Florence,” the ambitious series starring Dustin Hoffman and Richard Madden and sold by Wild Bunch TV, drew a record 7.6 million viewers for its debut broadcast on Italy’s Rai 1, according to Italian ratings compiler Auditel.
Rai 1 launched the English-language drama with two episodes Tuesday and pulled a 30% market share, beating competing programs such as the Juventus Championship League Game. “Medici” was especially popular among female viewers: More than a third of all women who watched TV on Tuesday evening tuned in to the show.
Previous Rai 1 TV series have performed an average of 20.8% share during the last 12 months, according to Wild Bunch TV.
The buzzed-about show, produced by Lux Vide, Big Light Productions, Wild Bunch TV, and Rai Fiction, also lit up social media with 206,500 interactions, becoming this year’s most-tweeted series in Italy, according to stats provided by Wild Bunch TV.
“This could not be better news. We always knew we would bring to the world an amazing high standard program. We are now delivering a commercial success,” said Carole Baraton, who heads up Wild Bunch TV, which handles worldwide distribution of the show. “Medici” has been picked up in more than 30 countries so far.
“I’m enormously proud of ‘Medici,’ and thrilled by the warm and enthusiastic response the series has received from the Italian public, who are our most important audience,” said Spotnitz, who co-created and exec-produced the show.
Commissioned for a second season, the show will next roll out in France on SFR’s premium SVOD service Zive.
Wild Bunch TV, the television division of the pan-European film company launched a year ago, is also selling “Four Seasons in Havana,” co-written by Leonardo Padura, as well as Keren Weissman,’s “Mama’s Angel,” Marc Bryssinck and Filip Lenaerts ‘s “Tytgat Chocolate,” and Noah Stollman and Oded Davidoff’s “The Exchange Principle.”
Nick Vivarelli contributed to this report.