WGN America’s second original scripted drama, the generally well received Manhattan, opened with 904,000 total viewers and 233,000 adults 18-49 at 9 PM last night. That more than tripled network’s season-to date average among total viewers in the hour. But it was off the hot debut of WGNA’s first original drama, Salem, which premiered with 1.5 million total viewers and 647,000 adults 18-49 at 10 PM on Sunday in April. Tribune-owned WGN America, which is single-feed and covers only 62% of the U.S. (71.4 million homes), employed a different strategy with Manhattan. To generate larger sampling, in addition to its airing on WGNA, the premiere ran in primetime in 33 markets where Tribune has broadcast stations, including WPIX in New York and KTLA in Los Angeles. With 14 of the larger of these 33 markets reporting, the series debut of Manhattan, which is skewing older than Salem, delivered 1.8 million viewers last night, 1.4 Million (326,000 Adults 18-49) in three combined airings on WGNA and another 400,000 on broadcast local stations. Salem‘s premiere amassed 2.3 million total viewers and 886,000 adults 18-49 over four airings on WGNA. Like with the Salem debut, which jumped 56% in Live+3 among adults 18-49 and 41% in total viewers, WGNA brass expect Manhattan‘s numbers to grow significantly in time-shifting viewing.
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