BBCA Touts 'Orphan Black' Gains

BBC America said drama series Orphan Black, now back for a second season, saw its audience double between live-plus-same-day viewings and live plus three days. The network said that percentage gain was the highest seen among all premieres in drama across basic cable, premium and broadcast channels going back to the start of the 2013-14 season last September.

Cable networks have begun to regularly trumpet the audience gains occuring within the C3 commercial-ratings window, especially for drama series. Other shows seeing strong gains early in their new seasons include AMC's Mad Men, which saw a 62% total-audience gain after adding three days of time-shifted viewing after its season seven premiere, and Fargo, the new FX series that posted a 68% gain after the extra three days that followed its series premiere, according to the networks.

In Orphan Black's case, the April 19 second-season premiere at 9 p.m. had 620,000 viewers on a L+SD basis. That rose to 1.237 million on a Live+3 basis, BBC America said. The cumulative total viewer number (which includes the premiere plus three encore airings) rose to 1,577,000 on a Live+3 basis, also double the L+SD result. Among viewers ages 18-49, the cumulative count rose to 746,000 with the extra three days, from 391,000, a 91% gain.

In Live+3, the season-two premiere of Orphan Black, which added audience buzz during the first-season run of the thriller starring Tatiana Maslany in multiple roles, was 41% ahead of the season-one premiere in total viewers, up 52% among ages 25-54 and up 65% among ages 18-49, the network said.

Mad Men's Live+3 numbers for the season-seven premiere on April 13 were 3.7 million in total audience, up 62% from L+SD; 1.9 million viewers among adults 25-54, a 73% gain from L+SD, and 1.8 million viewers ages 18-49, up 74% from L+SD. AMC says the series has been seeing increased time-shifting activity in recent seasons.

Fargo's lift from L+SD to Live+3 was the highest of any drama or miniseries premiere ever at the network. The total viewer figure rose 68%, to 4.46 million from 2.65 million. A cumulative number for the April 15 series debut (three airings) rose to 6.38 million L+3 total viewers from 4.15 million on a L+SD basis.

The network has seen big Live+3 gains before for its drama series, including a 53% gain for The Bridge premiere and 44% for The Americans. Fargo's three-day increase among adults 18-49 was 74%, rising to 1.78 million from 1.02 million, per FX. The networks all cited Nielsen figures.

Kent Gibbons

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.