For a brand-new series on a mysterious, largely unknown network, WGN America's Salem pulled in some pretty surprising numbers on Sunday.
The Shane West-led drama set during the historic witch trials in the titular town drew 2.3 million total viewers over four combined telecasts (read my review of the premiere right here!). The premiere broadcast at 10pm pulled in 1.5 million viewers, and 647,000 adults in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, which is notable since the network covers only 62.3 percent of the U.S. and is available in just 72 million homes. The use of witchcraft has not yet been ruled out as an explanation for these numbers.
BBC America's sci-fi series Orphan Black, which stars Tatiana Maslany (and Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, and Tatiana Maslany) didn't perform nearly as well in comparison.
Saturday's Season 2 premiere only recorded 785,000 total viewers once replays were factored in. The original telecast brought in 620,000 total viewers and 391,000 viewers in the 18- to 49-year-old demo. That's a 97 percent increase among adults 18 to 49, and double the series' Season 1 average, but proves that even with all the critical praise the show has received, Orphan Black remains a cult hit and did not rocket to widespread popularity between seasons as fans hoped it would.
Elsewhere on cable, ratings for FX's Fargo's debut are not quite as modest as originally reported last week. The series premiere jumped 68 percent from 2.65 million to 4.46 million viewers once the time-shifted Live + 3-day viewings were recorded. In multi-telecast viewings, that number rose to 6.38 million total viewers, up from 4.15 million for Live Same Day viewing.
Did you check out Salem or Orphan Black this weekend?