AMC will be looking closely at the three-day ratings for new drama “Preacher,” which opened fairly modestly on Sunday against some high-profile live programming on competing networks.
According to Nielsen, “Preacher” averaged a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 2.4 million viewers overall in “live plus same-day” estimates. While not big numbers, the demo score makes it the second biggest scripted launch of 2016 on ad-supported cable, behind only FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (2.0).
Sunday’s expanded episode, which aired from 10 to 11:30 p.m., will be replayed in the show’s regular 9 p.m. timeslot next week over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. It’s part of AMC’s strategy designed to give viewers multiple chances to catch the series adaptation of the 1990s comic book franchise before it returns with originals on June 5; the premiere of post-show discussion program “Talking Preacher” will come next week, too.
The network is also making the premiere episode available online (free, no authentication required) on AMC’s mobile app and through Apple TV.
“Preacher” stars Dominic Cooper as a Texas preacher with special powers. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg developed the series with former “Breaking Bad” writer Sam Catlin, who serves as showrunner. It is a co-production of Sony Pictures Television and AMC Studios.
Leading into the series premiere of “Preacher,” the midseason finale of “Fear the Walking Dead” averaged a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 4.4 million total viewers, on par with the previous week and standing as ad-supported cable’s No. 2 program and No. 1 series for the night (behind only the NBA on TNT). The show, which goes up against HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” has been growing in 18-49 from its same-day average by about 50% in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates.
AMC’s dramas faced some stiff competition for same-night viewers Sunday, including HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” ABC’s telecast of the “Billboard Music Awards,” a highly-rated NBA playoff game on TNT between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder and a key Game 5 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins on NBC Sports Network.