PBS' 'War' captures 7.3 mil viewers


NEW YORK -- The premiere of Ken Burns' new documentary series "The War" brought in 7.3 million viewers Sunday night, PBS said Monday.

The first episode of the multipart documentary averaged a 5.0 household rating/7 share in the 56 metered markets, according to preliminary estimates released by Nielsen Media Research.

That is on par with the opener of Burns' 1994 highly rated documentary series for PBS' "Baseball," which had a 5.1 household rating. (The premiere of Burns' "The Civil War" in 1990 brought in a 9.0 rating.)

"The War" ran between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. against season premieres on CBS and Fox plus a heavily watched "Sunday Night Football" matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears. At least 15.5 million people tuned in for at least part of the telecast, the network said.

With the addition of a second airing nationwide, the first episode averaged 18.7 million viewers total, PBS said. The first episode received strong ratings in several markets including Minneapolis-St. Paul (11.3/17), Seattle (10.6/17), San Francisco (8.4/15) and New York (6.7/11).