There are a lot of unique elements to Queen Sugar, but last night’s Season 2 debut of the OWN series from Ava DuVernay had the rare distinction of returning better than its series premiere last year among the Oprah Winfrey net’s core female demographic. Add to that, the midseason return of The Haves and the Have Nots also saw some bounce.
Relentlessly diving into themes of police violence, celebrity, equality, gender and heartbreak, Tuesday’s 10 PM Kat Candler-directed and Monica Macer-penned “After the Winter” episode of Queen Sugar snagged 2.3 million viewers, a 0.7 18-49 rating and a 2.09 rating among women 25-54. While down 14% in viewers from the Season 1 opener of September 6 2016, last night’s return was even among the 18-49s and up 1% in OWN’s key demo. A very small increase grant but still enough to make the Season 2 premiere of the Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe and Rutina Wesley starring show an all-time high among W25-54.
Queen Sugar certainly also got some saw some sweetness from the Season 5 midseason return of The Haves and the Have Nots as a lead-in on Wednesday. The Season 4 finale of the Tyler Perry-created show helped launch Night 1 of Queen Sugar’s two-night premiere last fall, and last night, in its first show since March 14, Haves and Have Nots was exactly the same in 18-49 demo and drew 2.7 million viewers overall. While the latter number was down 5% from the midseason return of June 21, 2016, among W25-54 last night’s midseason return had a 2.17 rating. That’s a bop up of 2% over last year’s W25-54 rating for The Have and the Have Nots Season 4 midseason return.
And, with an encore of last night’s opener as a lead-in, the two-night Season 2 premiere of Queen Sugar continues tonight in its regular slot of 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.