Richard Price and Steve Zaillian’s eight-parter debuted well last night for HBO. Starring Four Lions alum and Rogue One actor Riz Ahmed as a Pakistani-American who really wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and John Turturro as the world-weary lawyer set to keep him out of prison, The Night Of drew 1.3 million viewers on Sunday across its 9 PM premiere and two additional plays.
That breaks down to 774,000 for the debut showing of “The Beach” and then 317,000 for the 10:30 PM encore and 188,000 for the midnight play. Compared with the two-hour opener of the limited series Show Me a Hero on August 26, the premiere showing of The Night Of was up 75% in total viewers. Unlike the David Simon-EP’d Hero, The Night Of also had a long introduction of sorts with its premiere episode appearing online since June 24. HBO on Demand, HBO Go and HBO Now streaming of the series based on the UK show Criminal Justice attracted 1.5 million viewers leading up to Sunday’s on-air debut.
Co-produced by HBO and BBC Worldwide, the gritty The Night Of also stars Hap and Leonard’s Michael Kenneth Williams and Law & Order alum Bill Camp. The series runs on Sunday nights through August 28 on the premium cabler.