History’s ’s 10-hour event series Texas Rising drew 4.1 million total viewers and 1.1 million adults 25-54 for its two-hour opener last night. That is a solid Live+same day performance in this day and age, though it fell short of the previous History miniseries from the same producers that launched on Memorial Day three years ago — the ratings record-breaker Hatfields & McCoys, which drew 13.9 million viewers and 5.8 million adults 25-54 for its premiere. Texas Rising, which was backed up by a similarly massive marketing campaign built around its stars, including Hatfields & McCoy‘s Bill Paxton, also was way below the start of History’s 2013 limited series The Bible (13.1 million) but has out-rated any cable miniseries/limited series since. It edged History’s most recent effort, Bonnie & Clyde (3.7 million) though that mini aired simultaneously on three A+E networks, garnering a total of 9.8 million pairs of eyeballs for its debut.
Texas Rising, which details the Texas Revolution and rise of the legendary Texas Rangers, ranks as the second most watched cable premiere this year behind AMC’s Better Call Saul. It follows a different pattern than Hatfield & McCoys, with its second two-hour part airing tonight and the remaining 3 parts slated to run weekly, beginning next Monday.
Texas Rising, whose cast also includes Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is produced by A+E Studios, ITV Studios America and Thinkfactory Media, with Leslie Greif executive producing and Roland Joffe directing.