TV Ratings: Syfy's Pricey 'Defiance' Gives Network Best Demo Premiere Since 2006
UPDATED: The original series, tied into an even more expensive video game, opens to a total of 2.7 million viewers -- good for the cable network but shy of big returns needed to justify the investment.
Syfy's biggest original launch in years, Defiance, premiered on Monday night -- and brought in a solid 2.7 million viewers in its first outing.
That marks the network's best showing in total viewers since the 2009 opener of top-rated original Warehouse 13. Among adults 18-49, the two-hour premiere fared even better. The 1.3 million haul in the key demo was a network best since Eureka in 2006.
Tied to a massively multiplayer online video game, the entire Defiance endeavor has a $100 million price tag on it -- making ratings expectations higher than usual for the cable network. As of Tuesday, Syfy noted that the Defiance video game, a partnership with Trion Worlds, has logged more than 6 million hours of play.
In other demographics, Defiance averaged 1.4 million adults 25-54 (1.4 million) and 479,000 adults 18-34. Over the course of Monday and Tuesday nights, the series will premiere in more than 55 countries -- the biggest day-and-date launch in NBCUniversal history.
Syfy president Dave Howe recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the project will be given time to succeed. "Steve Burke is a big cheerleader of this," he said of the NBCU CEO. "This project makes sense in the marriage of content and distribution. The game is obviously broadband-hungry, which from Comcast's perspective makes total sense for their broadband business."
Moving forward, Defiance will air in its regular one-hour format at 9 p.m. on Monday nights. April 29 sees Warehouse 13 join it on the schedule at 10 p.m.