“Salem” got off to a promising start in the ratings Sunday (April 20), drawing 1.5 million viewers for its premiere on WGN America.
The show is the channel’s first foray into original series, and it proved to be a big upgrade over the WGN America’s previous programming. The “Salem” premiere also drew 647,000 people ages 18-49, a huge 635-percent increase over its season average in the timeslot.
Three additional airings pushed the show’s total to 2.3 million viewers and 886,000 18-49-year-old viewers for the night.
“We are thrilled with the audience turnout and reaction to ‘Salem,'” says Matt Cherniss, president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios. “These numbers far exceeded our expectations, especially given that we are currently only in 72 million homes. We look forward to seeing these numbers grow over the next few days with time shifting.”
“Salem” is a fictional take on the witch trials of the 1690s that suggests real witches lived in Salem, Mass. It’s the first of three original series WGN America (which is owned by Zap2it’s parent Tribune Company) is rolling out in the next year: “Manhattan” will premiere in July, and the miniseries “Ten Commandments” is set for 2015.