WGN's 'Outsiders' Premiere Sets Ratings Record

WGN America's Jan. 26 premiere of drama series Outsiders set a network viewership record, the network said Monday.

The series, which debuted commercial free on WGN America (to read the MCN series review, click here), drew 3.9 million viewers according to Nielsen Live +3 ratings, including premiere-night replays and digital-platform views, network officials said, citing Nielsen and WGN America digital data. The premiere drew about 1 million total viewers in live plus same day results, rising to 1.78 million in L+3, per Nielsen. Four encore replays on the debut night added about 1 million viewers, according to the network, and digital platforms Crackle (the show is co-produced by WGNA owner Tribune Media and Crackle owner Sony Pictures Television), YouTube and Facebook delivered more than 1 million views. 

If you add in eight more encores (including commercials) after Tuesday, the total viewers' figure for the premiere week rises to 5.5 million, according to 80-million-subscriber WGNA.

The 13-episode series follows the exploits of a tight-knit family of renegades who have lived atop a mountain for over two hundred years and who are fighting to defend their land and way of life from the coal industry and residents of the town below.

"We felt that Outsiders was exceptional, but there is no greater validation than this kind of viewer response." said Matt Cherniss, President and General Manager, WGN America and Tribune Studios. "We’re grateful for the stellar cast and creative team, Peter Mattei, Peter Tolan and Paul Giamatti, and our producing partners at Sony Pictures Television, and we thank the fans, who continue to inspire us to deliver one-of-a-kind storytelling at WGN America."

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.