WGN’s 'Salem’ Scares Up 2.3 Million Viewers

Salem, WGN America’s first original scripted series, drew 1.5 million total viewers live-plus-same day for its premiere Sunday night at 10 p.m.—the biggest audience for a WGN America telecast in seven years. Over four viewings, the series drew 2.3 million viewers. 

The series, which chronicles the 17th-century Salem witch trials, also drew 647,00 adult 18-49 viewers, a whopping 635% increase of the network’s season to average in the demo during the Sunday 10 p.m. time slot, according to network officials. The series premiere ranks as the network’s best performing telecast in more than seven years.

“We are thrilled with the audience turnout and reaction to Salem,” said Matt Cherniss, president and general manager for WGN America and Tribune Studios in a statement. “These numbers far exceeded our expectations …  we look forward to seeing these numbers grow over the next few days with time shifting.”

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.