EXCLUSIVE: Chris Albrecht’s power play of moving Power to Sunday night for its third season seems to have paid off. The Starz drama executive produced by 50 Cent and Courtney Kemp pulled in 2.26 million viewers last night with its Season 3 debut. That scores not only the premium cabler’s best original series season debut numbers yet but also becomes the most-watched episode of any Starz original ever.
The previous season debut high was held by the April 9 premiere of Season 2 of Outlander, which drew 1.46 million viewers. Last night’s Power topped that by 55% in viewers. Based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling novels, Outlander‘s second cycle was just barely ahead of the Season 2 launch of Power in last year; Sunday’s premiere grew 58% from that 2015 result, and 209% from its Season 1 opener (previously Starz’s season-debut high with 1.43 million viewers for its first-run airing).
Over the initial 9 PM ET airing and two replays, Sunday’s Power snared 3.37 million viewers — also the most ever for a Starz original on its opening night.
Both Outlander and Power, long Starz’s most overall watched series, had their previous seasons open on Saturdays. In a case of Power on Power action, the Season 3 debut was up 47% from the strong August 15, 2015 Season 2 finale of the series. Starz announced on May 25 that it was moving the Power Season 3 and the Season 3 of Survivor’s Remorse to Sundays and in direct competition with cable heavyweights on HBO and Showtime.
The LeBron James-produced Survivor’s Remorse premieres on July 24.