Starz’s acquired big-budget miniseries The Pillars of the Earth got off to a respectable start by Starz standards. The first two hours of the 8-hour mini drew 423,000 viewers on Friday. Not a lot to compare the ratings performance to as Starz is just now making inroads in the event longform programming. But Pillars finished competitively to the premiere of Starz’s breakout series hit Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which broke the pay cable network’s debut ratings record when it pulled 553,000 viewers earlier this year. It did much better than Starz’s other scripted offerings: for example, now defunct scripted drama Crash averaged 185,000 for its second season premiere and the recently canceled comedy Party Down averaged 74,000 viewers for its finale. The Pillars opener attracted 267,000 more viewers on Encore, with the total viewership expected to hover over 1 million in cume/DVR/VOD viewership.
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