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TV Ratings: ‘The Outsider’ Is Growing and Matching ‘Watchmen’ So Far on HBO

Watch out “Watchmen,” there’s a new word-of-mouth hit on the block at HBO.

The premium cabler’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “The Outsider” is putting up solid viewership numbers through four episodes, and has shown excellent growth from week-to-week.

Sunday night’s episode, the fourth so far, garnered almost 1.5 million viewers across all of HBO’s platforms, which represents a healthy 11% gain from last week and a 22% gain from the series debut on Jan. 12, and matches the figure put up by the “Watchmen” series premiere. Not to mention that it was up against the Grammys on Sunday night.

After airing back-to-back episodes on premiere night to 724,000 and 603,000 total viewers respectively, “The Outsider” has shown significant growth through episodes 3 and 4. The Jan. 19 episode, which saw Cynthia Erivo’s character introduced for the first time, grew by 42% in Live+Same Day viewership to 858,000 pairs of eyeballs.

Then this Sunday’s episode grew once more by 15% to 988,000 viewers, which is an impressive 36% bump from the premiere. Total viewing for the series debut is now up to 6.7 million across all platforms, per HBO.

To put the success of “The Outsider” into perspective, “Watchmen” was averaging 730,000 total viewers in Live+Same Day through four episodes, whereas “The Outsider” is currently averaging just under 800,000 at the same juncture.

The highly-anticipated “Watchmen” finale on Dec. 15 drew 935,000 total viewers, whereas the most recent episode of HBO’s newest drama drew just under 1 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.

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