“The Outsider” may not have generated quite as much buzz as “Watchmen” or “True Detective,” but the Stephen King-based drama has drawn more viewers than both.
The Cynthia Erivo and Ben Mendelsohn series’ finale was watched by 2.2 million viewers across all platforms, per HBO, which represents a whopping 1 million viewer boost from the season premiere, hinting at the incremental, word of mouth nature of its success. That 83% gain is also the largest from a debut to a finale for any HBO series in its first season. A season high 1.37 million viewers tuned in during the finale’s initial airing.
Through its first nine episodes, “The Outsider” is currently averaging 9 million viewers across all platforms, the best performance for a new HBO drama series since the first season of “Westworld” in 2016. For comparison, “Watchmen” drew 1.6 million viewers across all platforms to its finale. The much talked about Regina King series averaged just over 7 million viewers per episode, while season 3 of “True Detective” averaged close to 8 million.
“The Outsider” stars Erivo as an unconventional investigator who helps out Ben Mendelsohn’s detective in a murder case in which Jason Bateman’s character is the main suspect. Holly (Erivo) encourages Ralph (Mendelsohn) to “believe the unbelievable.”
Bateman, who was instrumental in bringing the series together and also directed the first two episodes, said at the premiere for “The Outsider” that Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” was the closest Stephen King adaptation in terms of tone.
“I was trying for ‘Shining’ in that there’s a certain kind of horror that exists in some of Stephen King’s books and there’s a certain kind of dread in others. This aligned better with the dread, the impending doom of the ‘The Shining,’ the moody, atmospheric kind of stuff,” Bateman said. “I’m a huge Kubrick fan composition-wise and in terms of lighting, he was a huge inspiration for me.”
The series hails from Civic Center Media in association with MRC Television.