HBO will be relieved to see that “His Dark Materials” doesn’t appear to be all dust and no substance.
The fantasy show premiered on Monday night to 700,000 total viewers across all the premium cabler’s platforms. That may not be a Iorek Byrnison-sized debut, but it’s not too shabby considering that it represents the best Monday premiere across all platforms since “Chernobyl” bowed in May, according to HBO. The audience for “Chernobyl” snowballed over time as word of mouth of spread, and it remains to be seen whether “His Dark Materials” can build as strongly on its solid debut.
The “His Dark Materials” debut was watched by 424,000 viewers during its live broadcast, which represents a stronger start than “Catherine the Great” and is roughly in par with another HBO miniseries from 2019 in “Gentleman Jack,” which garnered 441,000 total viewers during the live broadcast of its premiere.
“His Dark Materials” brings to life Philip Pullman’s iconic world of witches, armored bears and daemons. The HBO-BBC co-production stars Dafne Keen as the feisty Lyra Belacqua, Ruth Wilson as the icy Mrs. Coulter, James McAvoy as the aloof Lord Asriel, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as the adventurous balloonist Lee Scoresby.
A second season of the show was ordered way back in Sept. 2018, and “Fleabag” star Andrew Scott has already been cast to join its sophomore outing.