In its official premiere at 10 PM on Friday, Starz’s new period drama Magic City drew only 295,000 viewers, well below the network’s most recent series premiere of Boss (659,000) and far off the debuts of Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena, (1.098 million), Camelot (1.125 million) and Torchwood: Miracle Day (819,000). For the 10 and 11 PM airings on Friday, the Magic City premiere averaged a combined 423,000 viewers vs. 1.05 million for Boss, and 965,000 for the weekend vs. 1.72 million for Boss.
There were two mitigating factors: first, Magic City‘s premiere fell on Good Friday when fewer people were watching TV, and secondly, it had already run on Starz the week before. Just like the first episode of HBO’s Luck aired a preview behind the season finale of Boardwalk Empire before officially premiering it a month later, the Magic City opener aired behind the Spartacus finale the previous week when it did better, drawing 730,000 viewers in Live+3. Starz says that the pilot episode of Magic City has been seen by 2.5 million Starz viewers to date, including 670,000 on-demand views. Of course, Magic City‘s fate doesn’t depend on ratings: the series starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan was renewed for a second season ahead of its premiere.