It doesn’t take a wily detective to work out that “Perry Mason” premiered to strong numbers for HBO on Sunday night.
The reboot of the classic series was watched by a total of 1.7 million viewers across all platforms, which represents the network’s strongest debut for any series in almost two years. For comparison, the season debut of “Watchmen” drew 1.5 million viewers, and the first episode of “The Outsider” delivered 1.2 million viewers. The “Perry Mason” numbers match the season 3 premiere of “Westworld,” an impressive feat for the new series.
In its live network airing, the premiere scored 884,000 total viewers, which again narrowly beats out “Wathcmen”‘s 800,000 viewers. However, both “Watchmen” and “The Outsider,” in particular, showed decent growth throughout the season, and it remains to be seen whether “Perry Mason” will come close to the 2.2 million viewers who tuned in for the finale of the Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo Stephen King adaptation.
“Perry Mason” stars Matthew Rhys as the titular low-rent private investigator who is living check-to-check and is haunted by his wartime experiences in France and suffering the effects of a broken marriage. John Lithgow also star as Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan, a struggling attorney and a semi-regular employer of Mason, while Juliet Rylance plays Della Street, E.B. Jonathan’s creative and driven legal secretary, and Tatiana Maslany plays Sister Alice McKeegan, the leader of the Radiant Assembly of God, preaching to a hungry congregation and a radio audience across the country.
The series hails from executive producers Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey under their Team Downey banner, with Team Downey’s Amanda Burrell also executive producing. Ron Fitzgerald, Joe Horacek, Rolin Jones, and director Timothy Van Patten also executive produce. Rhys produces the series in addition to starring.