The debut of The Knick, already picked up for a second 10-episode season last month by Cinemax, started off with few fireworks. The heavily promoted 10 PM August 8 premiere of the Steven Soderbergh-directed and Clive Owen-starring period medical drama drew an average of 354,000 viewers. With three replays on that night, The Knick had a total of 657,000 viewers on Cinemax this weekend. That’s down from the 438,000 viewers that the cabler’s first truly homegrown drama Banshee did in its January 11, 2013 debut – which was also at 10 PM on a Friday. That HBO-owned Cinemax saw the Alan Ball EP’d action drama series get 965,000 viewers over three plays on its 2013 premiere night. Now renewed for a third season, Banshee has gained considerable traction over its first two seasons with the March 16, 2014 S2 finale getting a record 733,000 viewers – a high for Cinemax. However, The Knick perked up with a 9 PM August 9 showing on HBO, which attracted 533,000 viewers.
Set in the quickly changing NYC of 1900, The Knick revolves around the personalities and work at the fictional Knickerboker Hospital, with Owen leading the ensemble cast playing as the brilliant and eccentric Chief Surgeon John Thackery. The series is Soderbergh’s first launched project since HBO’s 2013’s Emmy-winning Behind The Candelabra. The Oscar winner helmed all 10 episodes of Season 1 of the show and will do the same for Season 2. The Knick was created by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler. The duo serve as EPs on the show along with Soderbergh, Owen and Gregory Jacobs and Michael Sugar.