'Watchmen' Premiere Ratings Get Big Streaming Bump

The premiere of Watchmen on HBO Sunday night scored decent on-air numbers, drawing a bigger audience than any episode of Succession's second season. It also pulled the premium cabler's biggest digital audience for a series premiere in three years.

Just under 800,000 people tuned in for the 9 p.m. premiere of the series, which is based on the landmark Alan Moore-Dave Gibbons graphic novel and was created by Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers). That's a 21 percent improvement on the finale of Succession the previous week and the biggest first-airing audience for any HBO series since the Big Little Lies finale (1.98 million) in July.

Replays and streaming pushed the total for the night to 1.5 million — meaning nearly half of Sunday's audience caught the show after its initial airing. HBO says Watchmen had the best series debut on its digital platforms since the premiere of Westworld in 2016.  

The replay/streaming lift of 87.5 percent for the premiere is bigger than those for Big Little Lies (76 percent), Euphoria (70 percent) or The Righteous Gemstones (42 percent) and not far behind the 96 percent jump for the season two premiere of Succession.

Watchmen is set 34 years after the events of the comic and centers on Angela Abar (Regina King), alias Sister Night, a police officer cum masked vigilante. The cast also includes Tim Blake Nelson, Don Johnson, Jeremy Irons, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jean Smart and Louis Gossett Jr.

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