Hallmark’s ‘When Calls The Heart’ Premiere Draws 1.2 Million Viewers

Hallmark Channel and IFC drew impressive viewership numbers for its respective scripted series premieres.

Hallmark’s second scripted series When Calls the Heart, debuted Saturday (Jan. 11) to 1.6 million viewers, the network said Tuesday. The series, based on the bestselling novels by Janette Oke and starring Erin Krakow, Lori Loughlin, and Jean Smart, helped Hallmark finish second among cable networks in households during the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. timeslot. The Oct. 19 two-hour pilot of When Calls the Heart drew 1.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

The Jan. 9 premiere of IFC’s scripted comedy series The Spoils of Babylon delivered a combined audience of nearly 2.3 million total viewers and nearly 1.2 million Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen Live+3 figures. The two episode, back-to-back premiere drew 514,000 during its debut night, according to Nielsen.

On the social media front, The Spoils of Babylon was the #1 ranked show on SocialGuide in Unique Audience and Impressions versus all cable non-sports programming and #3 among all TV shows for the night, said t he network.

 "We could not be more pleased to see a viewer response to this premiere night worthy of the great Eric Jonrosh and his epic work," said Jennifer Caserta, IFC president in a statement . "We look forward to continuing this star-studded and meticulously-crafted ride over the next four weeks."   

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.