TV Ratings: History's 'Vikings' Was Better With 'The Bible'

The sophomore premiere lacks a massive lead-in but still opens to 3.6 million viewers.

It comes as little surprise that Vikings' second-season premiere lacked the ratings punch of its 2013 series launch. This time last year, History's debut scripted drama aired after Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's The Bible.

Thursday's Vikings averaged 3.6 million viewers -- down from the 6.2 million viewers who greeted it last year. Among the key demos, the Vikings audience skewed slightly older. It averaged 1.8 million adults 25-54 and 1.7 million adults 18-49.

Despite the drops, Vikings' scores are enough to rank it as the No. 3 scripted cable series, year-to-date. It ranks behind only AMC's The Walking Dead and FX's American Horror Story: Coven.

Almost one year ago to the day, Vikings launched on Sunday night after The Bible -- the latter bringing in a massive 13.1 million viewers.

Burnett and Downey are still riding the religious wave of success with the project. An edited version of the miniseries, focused on Diogo Morgado's Jesus, hits theaters this weekend. Son of God already took in 1.2 million at the box office on Thursday night alone.