11:39am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Salem,' WGN America's First Original, Brings 2.3 Million to First Night
Salem worked magic for WGN America on Sunday. The network's first scripted series premiered to a robust 1.5 million viewers during its 10 p.m. telecast -- scoring 2.3 million viewers over the course of the night.
The series, which faced stiff competition on the cable landscape, performed ahead of expectations for a channel running on a single feed in only 62.3 percent and 72 million homes in the U.S..
In the targeted adults 18-49 demographic, Salem nabbed 647,000 viewers during the inaugural telecast. That marks a massive 635 percent improvement over its typical showing in the hour.
“We are thrilled with the audience turnout and reaction to Salem,” said WGN America and Tribune Studios president-GM Matt Cherniss. “These numbers far exceeded our expectations, especially given that we are currently only in 72 million homes. We look forward to seeing these numbers grow over the next few days with time-shifting."
Salem comes to WGN from Fox 21 and Prospect. The network will follow Salem with Manhattan, premiering in July, and event series Ten Commandments in 2015.