Breakout Kings completed its Cinderella story with a record debut on A&E. The show, which was rescued by A&E after Fox passed on the pilot in May, drew the highest demo numbers for an A&E drama series, 1.5 million adults 18-49 and 1.6 million adults 25-54. That was up 25% in adults 18-49 and 14% in adults 25-54 from the previous network record holder, the July 2010 debut of the network’s The Glades. In 18-49, Breakout Kings outperformed recent cable scripted premieres, including that of USA’s Fairly Legal. In total viewers, Breakout Kings drew 2.8 million, short of The Glades‘ record of 3.6 million. “Breakout Kings is a smart, action-packed drama with great storytelling and authentic well-drawn characters,” said Bob DeBitetto, President and general manager of A&E and BIO. “Clearly the series has struck a chord with the younger viewers.”
Also last night, the Season 5 debut of Lifetime’s Army Wives averaged 4.2 million viewers, up 27% from the fourth season debut last April. In adults 25-54, the Army Wives premiere (2 million) was up 13%, in women 18-49 (1.4 million) up 19%.
Immediately following Army Wives at 10 PM, Lifetime’s new unscripted series Coming Home had the network’s biggest unscripted series launch aside from the acquired Project Runway. Featuring U.S. armed forces service members’ surprise family reunions, Coming Home averaged 2.7 million viewers, 1.4 million of them in the 18-49 demographic.