Harley and the Davidsons wrapped its three nights on Discovery Channel with the biggest premiere telecast numbers in more than three years for a single-network miniseries on cable (dating back to History Channel’s The Bible).
The six-hour miniseries about the birth of the iconic motorcycle brand unspooled in two-hour blocks over three consecutive nights starting Monday. In Live + Same Day stats, Harley opened on the network’s so-called Motor Monday with 3.4 million viewers at 9 PM. Tuesday’s Night 2 clocked 3.4M at 9 PM; Wednesday’s final night nabbed 3.34M at 9 PM.
In Discovery’s target demo, 25-54, Harley and the Davidsons is the No. 2 rated freshman series this year, behind only FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
The project’s first and second episodes won their nights in cable in that 25-54 age bracket, and among men 25-54, excluding sports. Monday night’s opening boosted Discovery’s timeslot performance in the demo by more than 61%. Night 2 boosted the network 73%, and Night 3 a larger 158%.
The project’s 11 PM encores across the three nights averaged 1.6M total viewers and 547K viewers in that demo.
Across its three nights, the miniseries’ two plays clocked 2M demo viewers and 4.5M total viewers.
(Anticipating questions/comments: May 2016’s Roots simulcast across A+E, History, Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network, while December 2013’s Bonnie & Clyde telecast simultaneously on A&E, Lifetime and History.)
Harley and the Davidsons is Discovery Channel chief Rich Ross’ first miniseries for the network and part of his campaign to widen Discovery Channel’s scope. Signaling strong interest before the debut, the mini’s trailer clocked 7M views in about a week, outstripping any trailer ever posted to plug the network’s well-known Shark Week.
Harley and the Davidsons tells the story of founders Walter and Arthur Davidson and their friend Bill Harley, and charts the birth of this iconic bike during a time of great social and technological change beginning at the turn of the 20th century. Harley Davidson company opened up its archives, and all the motorcycles used in the miniseries were made from scratch, working from archival information.