There is a line in the opening episode of the sixth and final season of Power where Naturi Naughton’s Tasha St. Patrick tells Joseph Sikora’s Tommy Egan that “you took a shot at the Devil and you missed.”
That’s not the case for the opening episode of Starz’s super-sized “The Final Betrayal” run.
Building off years of a long-term plan to find the audience of the Courtney Kemp-created drama where it is, viewership for Sunday’s much promoted Season 6 premiere was up digital double digits over the Season 5 opener. Revealing surging growth for a second year in a row, the Season 6 debut of Power was up a stunning 40% on the premium cabler’s app over the Season 5 opener – which was up 115% over the kickoff of Season 4.
While Starz haven’t released any sign-up numbers for the app this time round, it is fair to estimate there were about 3.2 million streams of the David Rodriguez-directed “Murderers” episode, which dropped on the app in the early hours of August 25.
For the linear 8 PM ET debut on Starz itself on Sunday, the series starring Naughton, Sikora, Omari Hardwick and Lela Loren snared 1.5 million viewers. That’s steady with the much earlier July 1 premiere of Season 5 last summer, a 3.2% dip in sets of eyeballs — aka, nothing in an era of consistent and significant viewer declines on cable and broadcast TV.
Over all its plays this past weekend, the “Murderers” episode, which was written by Kemp and Andre J. Ferguson and saw the death of Loren’s core Angela Valdes character, snagged 2.3 million viewers. In the constantly fluid jockeying for position that personifies the ratings race in 2019, that makes the Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson EP’d Power the most watched scripted series on premium cable this summer.
Coming off a multiplatform Season 5 that averaged 10.8 million viewers per episode, the Season 6 opener also ranks as the second most watched cable drama opener of the year. At No. 1 was that little show called Game of Thrones, which saw 11.76 million viewers tune in for its eighth and final season on-air opener on April 14 on HBO.
More app data is expected for Power’s Season 6 premiere later this week from Lionsgate-owned Starz, as well as Live+3 and VOD numbers.