Monday night’s Memorial Day premiere of part one of the History Channel’s Hatfields and McCoys miniseries broke and reset basic-cable ratings, thanks in part to an American audience that apparently was clamoring to see a multi-hour series about a violent feud between two West Virginia families in the 1800s. Go figure.
That’s right—the premiere installment of the three-part Hatfields and McCoys scored 13.9 million viewers on Monday night, which is the largest-ever number earned by a basic-cable program that was not sports-related (unless you count post-Civil War hillbillies killing each other a sport, as the AV Club notes).
After announcing their big win, the History Channel stated a plan to “own historical drama,” and begin producing more miniseries’ set during prominent times in American history, and least until they can convince Ken Burns to start making documentaries for them and not those jerks over at PBS.
The second and third installments of Hatfields and McCoys will air on at 9 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday night, respectively. Directed by Kevin Reynolds (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Waterworld) with a screenplay from Ted Mann (NYPD Blue, Deadwood), Hatfields and McCoys stars Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Tom Berenger, Jena Malone, and Powers Boothe.
Were you part of the record-breaking audience?