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There may be a few “Hallelujah” choruses ringing in the halls of the Adult Swim offices this good Friday. The network’s latest live-action original, Black Jesus, topped all original cable offerings on Thursday and most of broadcast.
The inaugural outing for Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder‘s (co-created by Mike Clattenburg) latest late-night comedy averaged a solid 0.9 rating among adults 18 to 49 at 11 p.m. That live-plus-same-day showing tops all original competition on cable for the day — not to mention broadcast series The Quest (ABC), Rookie Blue (ABC) and Gang Related (Fox), as well as NBC comedies Welcome to Sweden and Working the Engels.
Among total viewers, Black Jesus‘ premiere brought in an equally strong haul: just north of 2 million viewers.
Thursday wasn’t exactly a quiet night, either. Though CBS’ Big Brother walked away from the night with a hands-down victory in the key demo of adults under 50, there were plenty of scripted offerings on cable. Relatively new USA series Rush and Satisfaction, for example, only match Black Jesus‘ adults 18 to 49 rating when their respective ratings are combined.
Especially good for Adult Swim, the 11 p.m. airing took every adult and adult male demo, and the show topped the entire day of men 18 to 49 across basic cable.
Black Jesus, as the title may lead one to believe, has generated quite a bit of criticism. The tale of black Jesus (Gerald “Slink” Johnson) living in contemporary Compton has Christian groups, including the American Family Association and the oft-offended subgroup One Million Moms (membership count not confirmed), pushing Adult Swim to pull the show.
Not all Christians are offended, though. Philadelphia pastor Leslie D. Callahan penned an op-ed in Time suggesting there are other things worth boycotting.
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