Westerns Are Riding High on Cable: A&E Sets Network Record With Series Debut

Jun 5, 2012  •  Post A Comment

A&E set a network record with the debut of its new Western-style drama series, The New York Times’ Media Decoder reports. Sunday’s premiere of "Longmire" attracted 4.1 million viewers, more than any new drama series on cable TV this season, the story reports.

Most of the show’s viewers were older, but it still attracted 1.4 million viewers in the 25 to 54 demographic, which is the main demo for the network, the story points out. The number is also the best in the demo this year for a new drama series, the story reports.

The program is based on the mystery novels by writer Craig Johnson, and focuses on a sheriff in Wyoming.

AMC’s "Mad Men," by contrast, was much more publicized but drew a total audience of 3.5 million viewers to its March season premiere. However, “Mad Men” had a younger audience, including 1.6 million viewers 18-49.

The strong debut for “Longmire” follows the success of History’s “Hatfields & McCoys” miniseries, which also contains Western elements. As reported previously, “Hatfields” set all-time cable viewership records during its premiere run last month — including 14.3 million total viewers for the final installment.

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