WGN America’s third original drama series, Outsiders, opened on Tuesday with 1.055 million viewers and 443,000 adults 25-54 in Live+Same Day. That was the best performance for a WGNA original series since the premiere of the network’s maiden drama Salem in April 2014. Outsiders, which drew 1.934 million viewers for its premiere night, was shy of Salem’s 1.5 million viewers for the premiere airing and 2.3 million for the opening night but it edged the debut of Manhattan in both A25-54 (+34%) and total viewers (+17%) as well as any other original series telecast on the network besides the Salem premiere.
Outsiders, from Sony Pictures TV, also outperformed recent basic cable drama premieres like Recovery Road (by +130%) and Syfy’s The Magicians (+15%) in Live+same day.
To get sampling for Outsiders, WGN America aired the premiere commercial free. The show’s performance also may have been boosted by WGN America’s recent carriage expansion to more than 80 million homes via a deal with Cablevision. The network also recently switched to a dual feed.