Cinemax and HBO Share 'The Knick's' Premiere Weekend Ratings

The Knick Trailer Screengrab - H 2014

The Knick Trailer Screengrab - H 2014

The Knick is off and running on Cinemax. The Steven Soderbergh-directed drama, already renewed for a second season, launched on the HBO sister net Friday night.

All told, the series premiere has thus far taken in 1.7 million viewers in its first few days. That includes the live-plus-same day showing for its inaugural telecast (354,000 viewers), three encores over the course of the night (303,000 viewers) and an even bigger sampling on HBO on Saturday. A 10 p.m. airing, meant to drive attention to the Cinemax series, earned 533,000 viewers on HBO.

Though Strike Back and Banshee precede it, The Knick is Cinemax's boldest play in the originals arena since the network launched in 1980. The slick period piece — whose first 10 episodes Soderbergh directed  — stars Clive Owen as a Victorian-era surgeon in turn-of-the-century Manhattan. It was originally pitched as a HBO project, but Soderbergh quickly agreed to the smaller playing ground of Cinemax when execs explained their plan to beef up the drama's prestige offerings.

"I think we all feel excited about being part of something hopefully transformative for this network," exec producer Michael Sugar told The Hollywood Reporter. "What's appealing is that we're working with the same executives, marketing and financial resources. People think that Steven's just a rebel, but he's not. He doesn't do things to be contrarian. It's the pioneer in him that persuaded him to lead us to Cinemax."

HBO has not shied away from promoting its neighboring series, aggressively plugging The Knick between episodes of its own original offerings such as True Blood and The Leftovers.

The first episode of The Knick is now available on YouTube for non-Cinemax subscribers. So if you want to watch an alarmingly realistic re-creation of a circa-1900 C-section during your lunch hour, stream away.