IFC Cheers Ratings, Views Of ‘Onion' ‘Portlandia'

IFC said the numbers are adding up nicely for two new original comedy series, including online sampling of one show.

Onion News Network and Portlandia debuted Friday, Jan. 21, at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively.

The former, which plays off the faux TV network sketches on the Onion's satirical humor site, debuted with 333,000 viewers using live plus same day Nielsen figures. Over three weekend airings, using live plus same day figures, the episode had 588,000 viewers.

Portlandia, the Portland, Ore.-based satirical sketch series from Carrie Brownstein and Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen, debuted with 263,000 viewers (live plus same day figures).

Including Friday-night and Sunday replays, the Portlandia number rose to 473,000, using live plus same day Nielsen figures supplied to media by Disney about all cable programming.

When three days' views on DVR playbacks are added on, ONN's cumulative audience was 780,000 and Portlandia's was 725,000, according to IFC.

IFC, which started Nielsen reports last fall, said a relevant comparison would be David Cross's The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret's 376,000 total viewers during its premiere weekend Oct 1-3, 2010.

IFC made Portlandia's first episode available for free on IFC.com, Hulu.com and YouTube the week leading up to the on-air premiere, and more than 500,000 combined viewers previewed the episode, the network said.

"In addition to the abundance of critical acclaim these shows received, we're thrilled that so many viewers tuned in to watch on IFC and sampled Portlandia online," IFC EVP and GM Jennifer Caserta said in a release. "This success underscores our alt comedy programming strategy and represents an exciting moment for the network."