'Spartacus' Premiere Slays 1.2 Million Viewers

Starz's Jan. 22 premiere of Spartacus: Blood and Sand drew more than 3.3 million total viewers across several showings, according to the premium pay TV network.
Based on live plus same-day DVR viewing, the 10 p.m. premiere of the series drew 1.2 million combined total viewers on both Starz (2.1 HH rating, 661,000 viewers) and Encore (1.2 rating, 580,000 viewers), according to network executives.
An additional 430,000 viewers (1.6 HH rating) watched at 11PM ET/PT on Starz.

The 3.3 million viewership figure includes three additional weekend airings on Starz and Encore with same-day DVR usage. Figures from other Starz channels, additional DVR usage, starz.com viewership and on-demand/online previews with affiliates are expected to grow that figure well past 4 million total viewers, said network officials.

"This is the most successful premiere in the company's history," said Stephan Shelanski, executive vice president, programming for Starz Entertainment in a statement. "We are very gratified to see that our excitement and faith in the series - already renewed for a second season - has been matched by initial demand. This show is unlike anything ever seen on television, and we are confident that passion for the series will grow as the character development and incredible story arcs unfold."

R. Thomas Umstead

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.